Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

A HIGHLAND FEAST.

pressing on Waverley no light sense of their merit as but for the absence of pork,* abhorred in the Highsoldiers, and of the power of him who commanded lands, resembled the rude festivity of the banquet of thern by his nod.

Penelope's suitors. But the central dish was a year. "And what number of such gallant fellows have ling lamb, called a a hog in har'st,” roasted whole. the happiness to call you leader ?" asked Waverley. It was set upon its legs, with a bunch of parsley in

"In a good cause, and u;.der a chieftain whom its mouth, and was probably exhibited in that form they loved, the race of Ivor have seldom taken the to gratify the pride of the cook, who piqued himself field under five hundred claymores. But you are more on the plenty than the elegance of his master's aware, Captain Waverley, that the disarming, act, table. The sides of this poor animal were fiercely passed about twenty years ago, prevents their being attacked by the clansmen, some with dirks, others in the complete state of preparation as in former with the knives which were usually in the same sheath times; and I keep no more of my clan under arms with the dagger, so that it was soon rendered a manthan may defend my own or my friend's property, gled and rueful spec. vule. Lower down still, the when the country is troubled with such men as your victuals seemed of yot coarser quality, though suffirfast night's landlord; and government, which has ciently abundant. Broth, onions, cheese, and the removed other means of defence, must connive al fragments of the feast, regaled the sons of Ivor who our protecting ourselves."

feasted in the open air. "But, with your force, you might soon destroy, or The liquor was supplied in the same proportion, put down, such gangs as that of Donald Bean Lean." and under similar regulations. Excellent claret and

"Yes, doubtless; and my reward would be a sum- champaigne were liberally distributed among the mons to deliver up to General Blakeney, at Stirling, Chief's immediate neighbours; whisky, plain or dithe few broadswords they have left us : there were luted, and strong-beer, refreshed those who sat near little policy in that, methinks. --But come, captain, the lower end. Nor did this inequality of distribution the sound of the pipes informs me that dinner is pre- appear to give the least otsence. Every one present pared--Let me have the honour to show you into my understood that his taste was to be formed accordrude mansion."

ing to the rank which he held at table; and, consequently, the tacksmen and their dependents always

professed the wine was too cold for their stomachs, CHAPTER XX.

and called, apparently out of choice, for the liquor which was assigned to them from economy.t The

bagpipers, three in number, screamed, during the Ere Waverley entered the banqueting hall, he was whole time of dinner, a tremendous war-tune; and offered the patriarchal refreshment of a bath for the the echoing of the vaulted roof, and clang of the Celfeet, which the sultry weather, and the morasses he tic tongue, produced such a Babel

noises, that had traversed, rendered highly acceptable. He was Waverley dreaded his ears would never recover il not, indeed, so luxuriously attended upon this occa- Mac-Ivor, indeed, apologized for the confusion occasion as the heroic travellers in the Odyssey; the task sioned by’so large a party, and pleaded the necessity of ablution and abstersion being performed, not by a of his situation, on which unlimited hospitality was beautiful damsel, trained

imposed as a paramount duty. “These stout idle To chafe the limb, and pour'the fragrant oil,

kinsmen of mine," he said, account my estate as

held in trust for their support; and I musi find them but by a smoke-dried skinny old Highland woman, beef and ale, while the rogues will do nothing for who did not seem to think herself mucin honoured by themselves, but practise the broadsword, or wander the duty imposed upon her, but muttered between about hills, shooting, shing, hunting, drinking, 'her teeth, “Our father's herds did not feed so near and making love to the lasses of the strath, But together, that I should do you this service." A sinall what can I do, Captain Waverley? every thing will donation, however, amply reconciled this ancient keep after its kind, whether it be a hawk or a handmaiden to the supposed degradation; and, as Highlander.” Edward made the expected answer, Edward proceeded to the hall, she gave him her in a compliment upon his possessing so many bola blessing, in the Gaelic proverb, "May the open hand and attached followers. be filled the fullest."

Why, yes," replied the Chief, were I disposed, The hall, in which the least was prepared, occu- like my father, to put myself in the way of getting pied all the first story of Ian nan Chaistel's original one blow on the head, or two on the neck, I believe erection, and a huge oaken table extended through * Pork, or swinp's flesh, in any shape, was, till or late years, its whole length. The apparatus for dinner was much abominated by the Septch, nor is it yet a favnte food simple, even to rudeness, and the company nume- amongst thein. kins Jamie carried this prejudice to England, rous, even to crowding. At the head of the table was and is known to have abhorred pork almost is much as lie did the Chief himself, with Edward, and two or three gipsy in a masque, examining the king's haud, says,

Ben Jonson has reaordo this peculiarity, where the Highland visitors of eighbouring clans; the elders

you should by this line of his own tribe, wadsetters and tacksmen, as they Love a horse, and a hound, but no part of a wine. were called, who occupied portions of his estate as

The Girsies Metamor; 20:et. mortgagers or lessees, sat next in rank; beneath James's owy proposed banquet for the Devil, was a loin of pork them, their

sons and nephews, and foster-brethren; and a poll or ling, witli a pipe of tobucco for digestion. then the officers of the Chief's household, according * To the number of persons of all ranks who assembled at the to their order; and, lowest of all, the tenants who Tighland chiefs only retained a custom which had been for:

same table, though by no means to discuss the same fare, the actually cultivated the ground. Even beyond this merly universally observed throughout Scotland long perspective, Edward might see upon the green, says the traveller

, lynes Morrison, in the end of Queen Eirato which a huge pair of folding doors opened, a multi-wth's reisn, the scene being the Lowlands of Scotland, ** was tude of Highlanders of a yet inferior description, who, brought in his meat with their heads covered with blue cans. nevertheless, were considered as guests, and had their the table being more than falf furnished with great platters of share both of the countenance of the entertainer, and porridge, cael having a little piece of sodden meal. And when of the cheer of the day. In the distance, and Auctu- metable was served the servanty did sit down with us, but the

upper mess, instead of porridge, had a pullet, with some prupes ating around this extreme verge of the banquet, was in the broth."--(Travis, p. 155.)

changeful group of women, ragged boys and girls, Till within this last century, the farmers, even of a respectareggars, young and old, large greyhounds, and terriers, bet wint those of high degree, was as certained by the place or the

'The difference and pointers, and curs of low degree; all of whom party above or below the salt, or, sometimes, by a wine drawn took some interest, more or less inmediate, in the with chalk on the dining table. Lord Lovat, who know well main action of the piece.

How to feed the vanity, and restrain the oppetites of his clansThis hospitality, apparently unbounded, had yet siens to be a Duinbe-wasser, the full honour of the bitling, bul,

men, allowed each oturdy Fraser, who had the slightest pretenzits ine of economy. Some pains had been bestowed at the same time, took care'mat luis young kinsmen did not ac in dressing the dishes of fish, game, &c., which were quire at his table any tast for outlandish luxuries. His lordship at the upper end of the table, and immediately under was always ready with some honourable apology, why foreign the eye of the English stranger. Lower down stood up the hardy habits of his cousins, should not circulate past an

sense clumsy joints of mutton and beef, which, assigned point on the table.

the loons would stand by me. But who thinks of clan regarded the generosity of their Chieftain with that in the present day, when the maxim is - Better high approbation. Many approved Gaelic loasts were an old woman with a purse in her hand, than three then proposed, of some of which the Chieftain gave men with belted brands ?!” Then, turning to the his guest the following versions :company, he proposed the “Health of Captain Wa- "To him that will not turn his back on friend or verley, a worthy friend of his kind neighbour and foe." "To him that never forsook a comrade." "To ally, the Baron of Bradwardine.",

him that never bought or sold justice." "Hospitality He is welcome hither," said one of the elders, to the exile, and broken bones to the tyrant." - The "if he come from Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine." lads with the kilts." "Highlanders, shoulder to shoul

I say nay to that,” said an old man, who appa- der," --with many other pithy sentiments of the like rently did not mean to pledge the toast;'" I say nay nature. to that;-while there is a green leaf in the forest, Edward was particularly solicitous to know the there will be fraud in a Comyne."

meaning of that song which appeared to produce "There is nothing but honour in the Baron of such effect upon the passions of the company,

and Bradwardine," answered another ancient; "and the hinted his curiosity to his host. As I observe," said guest that comes hither from him should be welcome, the Chieftain, “that you have passed the bottle duthough he came with blood on his hand, unless it ring the last three rounds, I was about to propose to were blood of the race of Ivor."

you to retire to my sister's tea-table, who can explain The old man, whose cup remained full, replied, these things to you better than I can. Although I " There has been blood enough of the race of Ivor on cannot stint my clan in the usual current of their the hand of Bradwardine."

festivity, yet I neither am addicted myself to exceed "Ah! Ballenkeiroch," replied the first, you think in its amount, nor do I," added he, smiling, “keep a rather of the flash of the carbine at the Mains of Bear to devour the intellects of such as can make Tully-Veolan, than the glance of the sword that good use of them.” fought for the cause at Preston."

Edward readily assented to this proposal, and the “And well I may," answered Ballenkeiroch; "the Chieftain, saying a few words to those around him, flash of the gun cost me a fair-haired son, and the left the table, followed by Waverley: As the door James. Glance of the sword has done but little for King closed behind them, Edward heard Vich lan Vohr's

health invoked with a wild and animated cheer, that The Chieftain, in two words of French, explained expressed the satisfaction of the guests, and the depth to Waverley, that the Baron had shot this old man's of their devotion to his service. son in a fray near Tully-Veolan about seven years before; and then hastened to remove Ballenkeiroch's prejudice, by informing him that Waverley was an

CHAPTER XXI. Englishman, unconnected by birth or alliance with the family of Bradwardine; upon which the old gen

THE CHIEFTAIN'S SISTER. tleman raised the hitherto-untasted cup, and cour- THE drawing-room of Flora Mac-Ivor was furteously drank to his health. This cremony being re- nished in the plainest and most simple manner; for quited in kind, the Chieftain maile a signal for the at Glennaquoich every other sort of expenditure was pipes to cease, and said, aloud, "Where is the song retrenched as much as possible, for the purpose of hidden, my friends, that Mac-Murrough cannot maintaining, in its full dignity, the hospitality of the find it?"

Chieftain, and retaining and multiplying the number Mac-Murrough, the family bhairdh, an aged man, of his dependants and adherents. But there was no immediately took the hint, and began to chant, with appearance of this parsimony in the dress of the lady low and rapid utterance, a profusion of Celtic verses, herself, which was in texture elegant, and even rich, which were received by the audience with all the ap- and arranged in a manner which partook partly of plause of enthusiasm. As he advanced in his decla- the Parisian fashion, and partly of the more simple ination, his ardour seemed to increase. He had at first dress of the Highlands, blended together with great spoken with his eyes fixed on the ground; he now taste. Her hair was not disfigured by the art of the cast them around as if beseeching, and anon as if friseur, but fell in jetty ringlets on her neck, confined commanding, attention, and his tones rose into wild only by a circlet, richly set with diamonds. This and impassioned notes, accompanied with appropriate peculiarity she adopted in compliance with the High

He seemed to Edward, who attended to land prejudices, which could not endure that a wohim with much interest, to recite many proper names, man's head should be covered before wedlock. to lament the dead, to apostrophize the absent, to ex- Flora Mac-Ivor bore a most striking resemblance hurt, and entreat, and animate those who were present. to her brother Fergus; so much so, that they might Waverley thought he even discerned his own name, have played Viola and Sebastian with the same exand was convinced his conjecture was right, from the quisite effect produced by the appearance of Mrs. eyes of the company being at that moment turned Henry Siddons and her brother, Mr. William Murray, towards him simultaneously. The ardour of the poet in these characters. They had the same antique and appeared to communicate itself to the audience. Their regular correctness of profile; the same dark eyes, wild and sun-burnt countenances assumed a fiercer eye-lashes, and eye-brows; the same clearness of and more animated expression; all bent forward to complexion, excepting that Fergus's was embrowned wards the reciter, many sprung up and waved their by exercise, and Flora's possessed the utmost femiarms in ecstasy, and some laid their hands on their nine delicacy. But the haughty, and somewhat stern swords. When the song ceased, there was a deep regularity of Fergus's features, was beautifully soft. pause, while the aroused feelings of the poet and of the ened in those of Flora. Their voices were also simihearers gradually subsided into their usual channel. lar in tone, though differing in the key. That of Fer

The Chieftain, who, during this scene, had appear-gus, especially while issuing orders to his followers ed rather to watch the emotions which were excited, during their military exercise, reminded Edward of a than to partake their high tone of enthusiasmn, filled favourite passage in the description of Emetrius: with claret a small silver cup which stood by him.

whose voice was heard around, “Give this," he said to an attendant, to Mac-Mur

Loud as a trumpet with a silver sound. sough nan Fonn, (į. e. of the songs) and when he That of Flora, on the contrary, was soft and sweel, has drank the juice, bid him keep, for the sake of Vich an excellent thing in woman;' yet, in urging any lan Voor, the shell of the gourd which contained it." favourite topic, which she often pursued with natural The gift was received by Mac-Murrough with pro- eloquence, it possessed as well the tones which imfound gratitude; he drank the wine, and, kissing the press awe and conviction, as those of persuasive in. cup, shrouded it with reverence in the plaid which was sinuation. The eager glance of the keen black eye, folded on his bosom. He then burst forth into what which, in the Chieftain, seemed impatient even of the Edward justly supposed to be an extemporaneous ef- material obstacles it encountered,

had, in his sister, fusion of thanks, and praises of his Chief. It was acquired a gentle pensiveness. His looks seemed to received with applause, but did not produce the effect seek glory, power, all that could exalt him above of his first poem It was obvious, however, that the others in the race of humanity; while those of his

gestures.

sister, as if she were already conscious of mental su-(they neither knew nor apparently wished to know periority, seemed to pity, rather than envy, those who but to relieve their absolute necessities, when in were struggling for any farther distinction. Her sen- sickness or extreme old age. At every other period, timents corresponded with the expression of her coun- they rather toiled to procure something which thes tenance. Early education had impressed upon her might share with the Chief, as a proof of their atmind, as well as on that of the Chieftain, the most tachment, than expected other assistance from him devoted attachment to the exiled family of Stewart. save what was afforded by the rude hospitality of his She believed it the duty of her brother, of his clan, of castle, and the general division and subdivision of every man in Britain, at whatever personal hazard, his estate among them. Flora was so much beloved to contribute to that restoration which the partizans by them, that when Mac-Murrough composed a song, of the Chevalier St. George had not ceased to hope in which he enumerated all the principal beauties of for. For this she was prepared to do all, to suffer all

, the district, and intimated her superiority by conto sacrifice all. But her loyalty, as it exceeded her cluding, that "the fairest apple hung on the highest brother's in fanaticism, excelled it also in purity, bough," he received, in donatives from the indiviAccustomed to petty intrigue, and necessarily involved duals of the clan, more seed-barley than would have in a thousand paltry and selfish discussions, ambitious sowed his Highland Parnassus, the Bard's croft, as also by nature, his political faith was tinctured, at it was called, ten times over. least, if not tainted, by the views of interest and ad- From situation, as well as choice, Miss Mac-Ivor's vancement so easily combined with it; and at the society was extremely limited. Her most intimate moment he should unsheathe his claymore, it might friend had been Rose Bradwardine, to whom she was be difficult to say whether it would be most with the much attached; and when seen together, they would view of making James Stewart a king, or Fergus have afforded an artist two admirable subjects for the Mac-Ivor an earl. , This, indeed, was a mixture of gay and the melancholy muse. Indeed Rose was so feeling which he did not avow even to himself, but it tenderly watched by her father, and her circle of existed, nevertheless, in a powerful degree.

wishes was so limited, that none arose but what he In Flora's bosom, on the contrary, the zeal of loy- was willing to gratify, and scarce any which did not alty burnt

pure and unmixed with any selfish feeling; come within the compass of his power. With Flora she would have as soon made religion the mask of it was otherwise. While almost a girl, she had unambitious and interested views, as have shrouded dergone the most complete change of scene, from them under the opinions which she had been taught gayety and splendour to absolute solitude and com to think patriotism. Such instances of devotion parative poverty; and the ideas and wishes which were not uncommon among the followers of the un- (she chiefly fostered, respected great national events, happy race of Stewart, of which many memorable and changes not to be brought round without both proofs will recur to the mind of most of my readers. hazard and bloodshed, and therefore not to be thought But peculiar attention on the part of the Chevalier de of with levity: Her manner, consequently, was St. George and his princess to the parents of Fergus grave, though she readily contributed her talents to and his sister, and to themselves, when orphans, had the amusement of society, and stood very high in the riveted their faith. Fergus, upon the death of his opinion of the old Baron, who used to sing along with parents, had been for some time a page of honour in her such French duets of Lindor and Cloris, &c. as the train of the Chevalier's lady, and, from his beauty were in fashion about the end of the reign of old and sprightly temper, was uniformly treated by her Louis le Grand. with the utmost distinction. This was also extend- It was generally believed, though no one durst have ed to Fiora, who was maintained for some time at a hinted it to the Baron of Bradwardine, that Flora's convent of the first order, at the princess's expense, intreaties had no small share in allaying the wrath of and removed from thence into her own family, where Fergus upon occasion of their quarrel. She took her she spent nearly two years. Both brother and sister brother on the assailable side, by dwelling first upon retained the deepest and most grateful sense of her the Raron's age, and then representing the injury kindness.

which the cause might sustain, and the damage which Having thus touched upon the leading principle of must arise to his own character in point of prudence, Flora's character, I may dismiss the rest more so necessary to a political agent, if he persisted in slightly. She was highly accomplished, and had carrying it to extremity. Otherwise it is probable it acquired those elegant manners to be expected from would have terminated in a duel, both because the one who, in early youth, had been the companion Baron had, on a former occasion, shed blood of the of a princess; yet she had not learned to substitute clan, though the matter had been timely accommothe gloss of politeness for the reality of feeling. dated, and on account of his high reputation for adWhen settled in the lonely regions of Glennaquoich, dress at his weapon, which Fergus almost conde she found that her resources in French, English, and scended to envy. For the same reason she had ur Italian literature, were likely to be few and interrupt- ged their reconciliation, which the Chieftain the more ed; and, in order to fill up the vacant time, she be- readily agreed to, as it favoured some ulterior projects stowed a part of it upon the music and poetical tradi- of his own. tion's of the Highlanders, and began really to feel the To this young lady, now presiding at the female pleasure in the pursuit, which her brother, whose empire of the tea-table, Fergus introduced Captain perceptions of literary merit were more bluni, rather Waverley, whom she received with the usual forms affected for the sake of popularity than actually ex- of politeness. perienced. Her resolution was strengthened in these researches, by the extreme delight which her inquiries seemed to afford those to whom she resorted for

CHAPTER XXII. information.

Her love of her clan, an attachment which was almost hereditary in her bosom, was, like her loy When the first salutations had passed, Fergus snid alty, a more pure passion than that of her brother. to his sister, "My dear Flora, before I return to the He was too thorough a politician, regarded his patri- barbarous ritual of our forefathers, I must tell you archal influence too much as the means of accom- that Captain Waverley is a worshipper of the Celtic plishing his own aggrandizement, that we should muse, not the less so perhaps that he does not underterm him the model of a Highland Chieftain. Flora stand a word of her language. I have told him you felt the same anxiety for cherishing and extending are eminent as a translator of Highland poetry, and their patriarchal sway, but it was with the generous that Mac-Murrough admires your version of his songs desire of vindicating from poverty, or at least from upon the same principle that Captain Waverley adwant and foreign oppression, those whom her bro- mires ihe original,-because he does not comprehend ner was by, birth, according to the notions of the them. Will you have the goodness to read or recite tme and country, entitled to govern. The savings to our guest in English, the extraordinary string of of her income, for she had a small pension from the names which Mac-Murrough has tacked together in Princess Sobieski, were dedicated, not to add to the Gaelic ?-My life to a moor-fowl's feather, you Bounforts of the peasantry, for that was a word which provided with a version; for I know you are in all

HIGHLAND MINSTRELSY.

the bard's councils, and acquainted with his songs Gaelic language, being uncommonly vocalic, is well long before he rehearses them in the hall."

adapted for sudden and extemporaneous poetry; and "How can you say so, Fergus? You know how a bard seldom fails to augment the effects of a prefittle these verses can possibly interest an English meditated song, by throwing in any stanzas which stranger

, even if I could translate them as you pre may be suggested by the circumstances attending the tend."

recitation." "Not less than they interest me, lady fair. To-day "I would give my best horse to know what the your joint composition, for I insist you had a share Highland bard could find to say of such an unworthy in it, has cost me the last silver cup in the castle, and Southron as myself.” I suppose will cost me something else next time I "It shall not even cost you a lock of his mane.hold cour plénière, if the muse descends on Mac- Una, Marourneen! (She spoke a few words to one Murrough; for you know our proverb,-When the of the young girls in attendance, who instantly curthand of the chief ceases to bestow, the breath of the sied, and tripped out of the room.)- I have sent Una bard is frozen in the utterance. --Well, I would it were to learn from the bard the expressions he used, and even so: there are three things that are useless to a you shall command my skill as dragoman." modern Highlander,-a sword which he must not Una returned in a few minutes, and repeated to her draw,-a bard to sing of deeds which he dare not mistress a few lines in Gaelic. Flora scemed to think imitate, and a large goat-skin purse without a louis for a moment, and then, slightly colouring, she turn d'or to put into it."

ed to Waverley— "It is impossible to gratify your "Well, brother, since you betray my secrets, you curiosity, Captain Waverley, without exposing my cannot expect me to keep yours. I assure you, Cap- own presumption. If you will give me a few motain Waverley, that Fergus is too proud to exchangements for consideration, I will endeavour to engraft his broadsword for a marechal's baton; that he es- the meaning of these lines upon a rude English transteems Mac-Murrough a far greater poet than Homer, lation, which I have attempted, of a part of the and would not give up his goat-skin purse for all the original. The duties of the tea-table seem to be conlouisd'or which it could contain."

cluded, and, as the evening is delightful, Una will "Well pronounced, Flora; blow for blow, as Co-show you the way to one of my favourite haunts, nan* said to the devil. Now do you two talk of and Cathleen and I will join you there." bards and poetry, if not of purses and claymores, Una, having received instructions in her native while I return to do the final honours to the senators language, conducted Waverley out by a passage difof the tribe of Ivor." So saying, he left the room. ferent from that through which he had entered the

The conversation continued between Flora and apartment. At a distance he heard the hall of the Waverley; fortwo well-dressed young women, whose Chief still resounding with the clang of bagpipes and character seemed to hover between that of compa- the high applause of his guests. Having gained the nions and dependants, took no share in it. They were open air by a postern door, they walked a little way up both pretty girls, bụt served only as foils to the grace the wild, bleak, and narrow valley in which the house and beariy of their patroness. The discourse fol, was situated, following the course of the stream that lowed the turn which the Chieftain had given it, and winded through it. In a spot, about a quarter of a mile Waverley was equally amused and surprised with from the castle, two brooks, which formed the little the account which the lady gave him of Celtic poetry. river, had their junction. The larger of the two came

"The recitation,” she said, " of poems, recording down the long bare valley, which extended, appathe feats of heroes, the complaints of lovers, and the rently without any change or elevation of character, wars of contending tribes, forms the chief amusement as far as the hills which formed its boundary perof a winter fire-side in the Highlands. Some of these mitted the eye to reach. But the other stream, which are said to be very ancient, and if they are ever trans- had its source among the mountains on the left hand lated into any of the languages of civilized Europe, of the strath, seemed to issue from a very narrow and cannot fail to produce a deep and general sensation. dark opening betwixt two large rocks. These streams Others are more modern, the composition of those fa. were different also in character. The larger was mily bards whom the chieftains of more distinguished placid, and even sullen in its course, wheeling in deep name and power retain as the poets and historians eddies, or sletping in dark blue pools; but the motions of their tribes. These, of course, possess various de- of the lesser brook were rapid and furious, issuing grees of merit; but much of it must evaporate in trans- from between precipices, like a maniac from his conlation, or be lost on those who do not sympathize finement, all foam and uproar. with the feelings of the poet."

It was up the course of this last stream that Wa"And your bard, whose effusions seemed to pro- verley, like a knight of romance, was conducted by duce such effect upon the company to-day, is he reck the fair Highland damsel, his silent guide. A small oned among the favourite poets of the mountains ?” path, which had been rendered easy in many places

"That is a trying question. His reputation is high for Flora's accommodation, led him through scenery among his countrymen, and you must not expect me of a very different description from that which he had to depreciate it.”+

just quitted. Around the castle, all was cold, bare, "But the song, Miss Mac-Ivor, seemed to awaken and desolate, yet tame even in desolation, but this all those warriors, both young and old."

narrow glen, at so short a distance, seemed to open "The song is little more than a catalogue of names into the land of romance. The rocks assumed a of the Highland clans under their distinctive pecu- thousand peculiar and varied forms. In one place, a liarities, and an exhortation to them to remember crag of huge size presented its

gigantic bulk, as if to and to emulate the actions of their forefathers." forbid the passenger's farther progress; and it was not

4 And am I wrong in conjecturing, however extra- until he approached its very base, that Waverley disordinary the guess appears, that there was some allu- cerned the sudden and acute turn by which

the path siun to me in the verses which he recited ?"

way wheeled its course around this formidable obsta “You have a quick observation, Captain Waverley, cle. In another spot, the projecting rocks from the which in this instance has not deceived you. The opposite sides of the chasm had approached so near Pherson) thero occurs, as in the primitive poetry of most na covered with turf, formed a rustic

bridge at the height - In the Irish ballads, relating to Fion, (the Fingal of Mac- to each other, that two pine-trees laid across, and tions, a cycle of heroes, each of whom has some distinguishing of at least one hundred and fifty feet. It had no attribute : upon these qualities, and the adventures of those pos, ledges, and was barely three feet in breadth. sessing them, many proverbs are formed, which are still current in the Highlands. Among other characters, Conan is distin

While gazing at this pass of peril, which crossed, guished as in some respects a kind of Thersites, but brave and like a single black line, the small portion of blue sky daring even to rashness. He had made a vow that he would not intercepted by the projecting rocks on either side; heroes of antiquity, descended to the infernal region, he received it was with a sensation of horror that Waverley be a cuir from the argh-fiend, who presided there, which lie in held Flora and her attendant appear, like inhabitants stantly retumed, using the expression in the text. Sorcetimes of another region, propped, as it were, in mid air, the proverb is worded thus:-"Claw for claw, and the devil take the shortest nails, as Conan said to the devil."

upon this trembling structure. She stopped upon The Highland poet almost always was an improvisatore observing him below and, with an air of gracefull Captain Burt mot one of there at Lovat'a table. H

enso, which made hirn shudder, waved her handker VOL. II

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

chief to him by way of signal. He was unable, 'quialy led the way to a spot at such a distance from from the sense of dizziness which her situation con- the cascade, that its sound should rather accompany veyed, to return the salute; and was never more re-than interrupt that of her voice and instrument and, lieved than when the fair apparition passed on from sitting down upon a mossy fragment of rock, she the precarious eminence which she seemed to occupy took the harp from Cathleeni. with so much indifference, and disappeared on the "I have given you the trouble of walking to this other side.

spot, Captain Waverley, both because I thought the Advancing a few yards, and passing under the scenery would interest you, and because a Highland bridge which he had viewed with so much terror, the song would suffer still more from my imperfect transpath ascended rapidly from the edge of the brook, and lation, were I to introduce it without its own wild the glen widened into a silvan amphitheatre, waving and appropriate accompaniments. To speak in the with birch, young oaks, and hazels, with here and poetical language of my country, the seat of the Celue there a scattered yew-tree. The rocks now receded, Muse is in the mist of the secret and solitary hill, and. but still showed their gray and shaggy crests rising her voice in the murmur of the mountain stream. among the copse-wood. Still higher, rose eminences He who woos her must love the barren rock more and peaks, some bare, some clothed with wood, some than the fertile valley, and the solitude of the desert round and purple with heath, and others splintered better than the festivity of the hall." into rocks and crags. At a short turning, the path, Few could have heard this lovely woman make which had for some furlongs lost sight of the brook, this declaration, with a voice where harmony was suddenly placed Waverley in front of a romantic exalted by pathos, without exclaiming that the muse waterfall." It was not so remarkable either for great whom she invoked could never find a more appropriheight or quantity of water, as for the beautiful fate representative. But Waverley, though the thought accompaniments which made the spot interesting. rushed on his mind, found no courage to utter it. InAfter a broken cataract of about twenty feet, the deed, the wild feeling of romantic delight with which stream was received in a large natural basin filled to be heard the few first notes she drew from her insir the brim with water, which, where the bubbles of the ment, amounted almost to a sense of pain. He would fall subsided, was so exquisitely clear, that although not for worlds have quitted his place by her side; yet it was of great depth, the eye could discern each peb- he almost longed for solitude, that he might decipher ble at the bottom. Eddying round this reservoir, the and examine at leisure the complication of emouons brook found its way as if over a broken part of the which now agitated his bosom. ledge, and formed a second fall, which seemed to Flora had exchanged the measured and monotoseek the very abyss; then, wheeling out bencath from nous recitative of the bard for a lofty and uncommon among the smooth dark rocks, which it had polished Highland air, which had been a battle-song in furfor ages, it wandered murmuring down the glen, mer ages. A few irregular strains introduced a pre. forming the stream up which Waverley had just as- lude of a wild and peculiar tone, which harmonizu! cended.* The borders of this romantic reservoir well with the distant waterfall, and the soft sigh of corresponded in beauty; but it was beauty of a stern the evening breeze in the rustling leaves of an aspen and commanding cast, as if in the act of expanding which overhung the seat of the fair harpress. The into grandeur. Mossy banks of turf were broken following verses convey but little idea of the feelings and interrupted by huge fragments of rock, and de- with which, so sung and accompanied, they were corated with trees and shrubs, some of which had heard by Waverley : been planted under the direction of Flora, but so cautiously, that they added to the grace, without diinin- There is mist on the mountain, and night on the vale, ishing the romantic wildness of the scene.

But more dark is the sleep of the sons of the Gael.

A stranger commanded-it sunk on the land, Here, like one of those lovely forms which deco

It has frozen each heart, and benumb'd every hand rate the landscapes of Poussin, Waverley found Flora

The dirk and the target lie sordid with dust, gazing on the waterfall. Two paces farther back 'The bloodless clay more is but redden'd with rust; stood Cathleen, holding a small Scottish harp, the

On the hill or the slen if a gun should appear, use of which had been taught to Flora by Rory Dall,

It is only to war with the heath-cock or deer. one of the last harpers of the Western Highlands

The deeds of pur sires if our barils should rehearse,

Let a blush or a blow be the meed of their verse ! The sun, now stooping in the west, gave a rich and

Be mute every string, and be hush'd every tone, varied tinge to all the objects which surrounded Wa- That shall bid us remember the furne that is flown. verley, and seemed to add more than human bril- But the dark hours of night and of slumber are past, liancy to the full expressive darkness of Flora's eye,

The mor on our mountains is dawning allast;

Glenalndale's peaks are illumed with the rays, exalted the richness and puriiy of her complexion, And the streams of Glenfinnan* leap bright in the blaze. and enhanced the dignity and grace of her beautiful O bigh-minded Moray Ittlie exiled-lhe dear! form. Edward thought he had never, even in his In the blush of the dawning the STANDARD Oprear! wildest dreams, imagined a figure of such exquisite

Wiele, wide on the wind- of the north let iting,

Like the sun's latest flash when the tempest is nieki! and interesung loveliness. The wild beauty of the retreat, bursting upun hiin as if by magic, augmented

Ye sons of the strong, when that dawning shall break,

Need the harp of the aged remind you to wake? the mingled feeling of delight and awe with which he That dawn never beam'd on your forefathers' eye, approached her, like a fair enchantress of Boiardo or But it roused each lugn chieftain to vanquish or die. Ariosto, by whose nod the scenery around seemed to O, sprung from the Kings who in Islay kept state, have been created, an Exen in the wilderness.

Proud cliefs of Clan Runald, Glengarry, and Sleat!

Combine like three streams from one mountain of snow, Flora, like every beautiful woman, was conscious And resistless in union rush down on the toe! of her own power, and pleased with its effects, which

True son of Sir'Evan, undaunted Lochiel, she could easily discern from the respectful, yet con- Place thy targe on thy shoulder and burnish thy steel! fused address of the young soldier. But, as she pos

Rough Keppoch, give breath to thy bugle's bold swell,

Till lar Coryarrick resound to the knell ! sessed excellent sense, she gave the romance of the

Stern son of Lord Kennain, high chief of Kintail. scene, and other accidental circumstances, full weight

Let the stag in thy standard bound wild in the gale! in appreciating the feelings with which Waverley May the race of Clan Gillean, the fearless and free, seenied obviously to be impressed; and, unacquainted Remember Glenlivat, Harlaw, and Dundee! with the fanciful and susceptible peculiarities of his

Let the clan of gray Fingon, whose ofTupring has given character, considered his homage as the passing tri

Such heroes to earth, and such martyrs to heaven,

Unite with the race of renown'd Rorri More, bute which a woman of even inferior charms might

To launch the long galley, and stretch to the oar. have expected in such a situation. She therefore How Mac-Shimei will joy when their chier shall display

* The description of the waterfall inentioned in this chapter is The yew-created bonnet o'er tresses of gray! taken from that of Ledeard, at the farm so called on the north. em sido of Lochard, and near the head of the Lake, four or five # The young and daring Adventurer, Charles Edward. lande miles from Aberfoyle. It is upon a small scale, but otherwise at Glenaladale, in Moidart, and displayed his standard in u. one of the most exquisite cascades it is possible to behold. The valley of Glenfinnan, mustering around it the Mac-Donalds, the appearance of Flora with the harp, as described, has been justly Camerons, and other less numerous clans, whom he had pr mensured as too theatrical and affected for the lady-like simpli- vailed on to join him. There is a monument erected on city of her character. But something may be allowed to ber spot, with a Latin inscription by the late Doctor Gregory. French education, in which point and striking effect always + The Marquis of Tu lihardine's elder brother, who, long a wake a considerable object.

iled, returned to Scotland with Charles Edward in 1748

« PreviousContinue »