Page images
[ocr errors]

rosemary, pheasants and peacocks, cranes and cyg A difference in political opinions had early sepaDets, has an excellent effect in fictitious description. rated the Baronet from his younger brother Richard Much may also be gained by a lively display of a Waverley, the father of our hero. Sir Everard had molern fete, such as we have daily recorded in that inherited from his sires the whole train of 'Tory or fort of a newspaper entitled the Mirror of Fashion, High-church predilections and prejudices, which if we contrast these, or either of them, with the had distinguished the house of Waverley since the splendid forinality of an entertainment given Sixty Great Civil War. Richard, on the contrary, who Years since; and thus it will be readily seen how was ten years younger, beheld himself bom to the monch the painter of antique or of fashionable man- fortune of a second brother, and anticipated neither nen gains over him who delincates those of the last dignity nor entertainment in sustaining the characgeneration,

ter of Will Wimble. He saw early, that, to succeed Considering the disadvantages inseparable from in the race of life, it was necessary he should carry this part of my subject, I must be understood to have as little weight as possible. Painters talk of the difresolved to avoid them as much as possible, by ficulty of expressing the existence of compound pasthrowing the force of my narrative upon the cha- sions in the same features at the same moment: It racters and passions of the actors;- those passions would be no less difficult for the moralist to analyze common to men in all stages of society, and which the mixed motives which unite to form the impulse have alike agitated the human heart, whether it of our actions. Richard Waverley read and satisfied throbbed under the steel corslet of the fifteenth cen- himself, from history and sound argument, that, in tury, the brocaded coat of the eighteenth, or the the words of the old song, blue frock and white dimity waistcoat of the present

Passive obedience was a jest, day. Upon these passions it is no doubt true that

And pshaw! was non-resistance ; the state of manners and laws casts a necessary yet reason would have probably been unable to comenlouring; but the bearings, to use the language of bat and remove hereditary prejudice, could Richard beraldry, remain the same, though the tircture may have anticipated that his elder brother, Sir Evebe not cnly different, but opposed in strong contra- rard, taking to heart an early disappointment, would distinction. The wrath of our ancestors, for ex have remained a bachelor at seventy-two.

ample, was coloured gules; it broke forth in acts of prospect of succession, however remote, might in
open and sanguinary violence against the objects of that case have led him to endure dragging througlı
its fury. Our malignant feelings, which must seek the greater part of his life as “ Master Richard at
gratification through more indirect channels, and the Hall, the baronet's brother," in the hope that
undermine the obstacles which they cannot openly ere its conclusion he should be distinguished as Sir
bear down, may be rather said to be tinctured sable. Richard Waverley of Waverley-Honour, successor
But the deep-ruling impulse is the same in both to a princely estate, and to extended political con-
cases; and the proud peer who can now only ruin nexions as head of the county interest in the shire
his neighbour arcording to law, by protracted suits, where it lay. But this was a consummation of
is the genuine descendant of the baron who wrapped things not to be expected at Richard's outset, when
the castle of his competitor in flames, and knocked Sir Everard was in the prime of life, and certain to
him on the head as he endeavoured to escape from be an acceptable suitor in almost any family, whe-
the conflagration. It is from the great book of Na-ther wealth or beauty should be the object of his
ture, the same through a thousand editions, whether pursuit, and when, indeed, his speedy marriage was
of black-letter, or wire-wove and hot-pressed, that a report which regularly amused the neighbourhood
I lave venturously essayed to read a chapter to the once a-year. His younger brother saw no practi-
publie. Some favourable opportunities of contrast cable road to independence save that of relying upon
have been afforded me, by the state of society in the his own exertions, and adopting a political creed
Dorthern part of the island at the period of my his- more consonant both to reason and his own interest
tory, and may serve at once to vary and to illustrate than the hereditary faith of Sir Everard in High-
the moral lessons, which I would willingly consider church and in the house of Stewart. He therefore
as the most important part of my plan; although I read his recantation at the beginning of his career,
ain ensible how short these will fall of their aiin, if and entered life as an avowed Whig, and friend of
I shall be found unable to mix them with aniuse- the Hanover succession.
ment,-a task not quite so easy in this critical ge The ministry of George the First's time were
beration as it was “ Sixty Years since.”

prudently anxious to diminish the phalanx of oppo-
sition. The Tory nobility, depending for their re-
flected lustre upon the sunshine of a court, lad for

some time been gradually reconciling themselves to

the new dynasty. But the wealthy country gentleWarcrley-Honour.- A Retrospect.

men of England, a rank which retained, with much

of ancient manners and primitive integrity, a great It is, then, sixty years since Edward Waverley, proportion of obstinate and unyielding prejudice, the hero of the following pages, took leave of his fami- stood aloof in laughty and sullen opposition, and ly, to join the regiment of dragoons in wlich he had cast many a look of mingled regret and hope to lately obtained a cominission. It was a melancholy Bois le Duc, Avignon, and Italy. The accession day at Waverley-Honour when the young officer of the near relation of one of those steady and inparted with Sir Everard, the affectionate old uncle Alexible opponents was considered as a means of to whose title and estate he was presumptive heir. bringing over more converts, and therefore Richard

Alas! that attire, respectable and genticmaulike in embroidered waistcoat of purple velvet or silk, and a coat 1905, or thereabouts, is now as antiquated as the Author of whatever colour he pleases. s! Waverley has himself lecome sirice that period! The 2 Where the Chevalier Saint George, or, as he was termed, reader of iashion will please lotill up the costume with an the Oid Pretender, held his exiled court, as his situation

compelled him to shift his place of residence.

Waverley met with a share of ministerial favour, i deed, as lie himself well knew), the Waverleys of more than proportioned to his talents or his political | Highley Park, com. Hants; with whom the main importance. It was, however, discovered that he branch, or rather stock, of the house had renounced had respectable talents for public business, and the all connexion, since the great lawsuit in 1670. first admittance to the minister's levée being ve This degenerate scion had committed a farther gotiated, his success became rapid. Sir Everard offence against the lead and source of their gentilearned from the public News-Letter, -- first, that lity, by the intermarriage of their representative Richard Waverley, Esquire, was returned for the with Judith, heiress of Oliver Bradshawe, of Highministerial borough of Barterfaith; next, that Rich- ley Park, whose arms, the same with those of Bradard Waverley, Esquire, had taken a distinguished shawe the regicide, they had quartered with the part in the debate upon the Excise bill in the support ancient coat of Waverley. These offences, howof government; and, lastly, that Richard Waver. ever, had vanished from Sir Everard's recollection ley, Esquire, had been honoured with a seat at one in the heat of his resentment; and had Lawyer Clipof those boards, where the pleasure of serving the purse, for whom his groom was dispatched express, country is combined with other important gratifi- arrived but an hour earlier, he might have had the cations, which, to render them the more acceptable, benefit of drawing a new settlement of the lordship occur regularly once a-quarter.

and manor of Waverley-Honour, with all its depenAlthough these events followed each other so dencies. But an hour of cool reflection is a great closely that the sagacity of the editor of a modern matter, when employed in weighing the comparative newspaper would have presaged the two last even evil of two measures, to neither of which we are inwhile he announced the first, yet they came upon ternally partial. Lawyer Clippurse found his patron Sir Everard gradually, and drop by drop, as it involved in a deep study, which he was too respect were, distilled through the cool and procrastinating ful to disturb, otherwise than by producing his paalembic of Dyer's Weekly Letter. For it may be per and leathern ink-case, as prepared to minute observed in passing, that instead of those mail his honour's commands. Even this slight manaucoaches, by means of which every mechanic at his vre was embarrassing to Sir Everard, who felt it sixpenny club may nightly learn from twenty con as a reproach to his indecision. He looked at the tradictory channels the yesterday's news of the attorney with some desire to issue his fiat, when the capital, a weekly post brought, in those days, to sun, emerging from behind a cloud, poured at once Waverley-Honour, a Weekly Intelligencer, which, its chequered light through the stained window of after it had gratified Sir Everard's curiosity, his the gloomy cabinet in which they were seated. The sister's, and that of his aged butler, was regularly | Baronet's eye, as he raised it to the splendour, fell transferred from the Hail to the Rectory, from the right upon the central scutcheon, impressed with Rectory to Squire Stubbs' at the Grange, from the the same device which his ancestor was said to have Squire to the Baronet's steward at liis neat white borne in the field of Hastings; three ermines pashouse on the heath, from the steward to the bailiff, sant, argent, in a field azure, with its appropriate and from him through a huge circle of honest dames motto, sans tache.“ May our name rather perish," and gaffers, by whose hard and horny hands it was exclaimed Sir Everard, “ than that ancient and loyal generally worn to pieces in about a month after its symbol should be blended with the dishonoured inarrival.

signia of a traitorous Roundhead!" This slow succession of intelligence was of some All this was the effect of the glimpse of a sunadvantage to Richard Waverley in the case before beam, just sufficient to light Lawyer Clippurse to us; for, had the sum total of his enormities reached mend his pen. The pen was mended in vain. The the ears of Sir Everard at once, there can be no attorney was dismissed, with directions to hold him. doubt that the new commissioner would have had self in readiness on the first summons. little reason to pique himself on the success of his The apparition of Lawyer Clippurse at the Hall politics. The Baronet, although the mildest of occasioned much speculation in that portion of the human beings, was not without sensitive points in world to which Waverley-Honour formed the centre: his character; his brother's conduct had wounded | But the more judicious politicians of this microcosm these deeply; the Waverley estate was fettered by augured yet worse consequences to Richard Wano entail (for it had never entered into the head of verley from a movement which shortly followed his any of its former possessors that one of their pro- apostacy. This was no less than an excursion of the geny could be guilty of the atrocities laid by Dyer's Baronet in his coach-and-six, with four attendants in Letter to the door of Richard), and if it had, the rich liveries, to make a visit of some duration to a marriage of the proprietor might have been fatal to noble peer on the confines of the shire, of untainted a collateral heir. These various ideas floated through descent, steady Tory principles, and the happy father the brain of Sir Everard, without, however, pro- of six unmarried and accomplished daughters. ducing any determined conclusion.

Sir Everard's reception in this family was, as it He examined the tree of his genealogy, which, may be easily conceived, sufficiently favourable; but emblazoned with many an emblematic mark of of the six young ladies, his taste unfortunately deterhonour and heroic achievement, hung upon the mined him in favour of Lady Emily, the youngest, well-varnished wainscot of his hall. The nearest who received his attentions with an embarrasment descendants of Sir Hildebrand Waverley, failing which showed, at once, that she durst not decline those of his eldest son Wilfred, of whom Sir Everard them, and that they afforded her anything but pleaand his brother were the only representatives, were, as this honoured register informed him (and, in Sir Everard could not but perceive something


I Long the oracle of the country gentlemen of the high compiled picked up his intelligence at Coffee-houses, and Tory party. The ancient News-Letter was written in often pleaded for an additional gratuity, in consideratior manuscript rud copied by clerks, who addressed the co of the extra expense attached to frequenting such place. pios to the subscribans. The politician by whom they were of fashionable resort.

mcommon in the restrained emotions which the tive principle. It was accident, therefore, which at young lady testified at the advances he hazarded; length occasioned a renewal of their intercourse. but, assured by the prudent Countess that they were Richard had married a young woman of rank, by the natural effects of a retired education, the sacri- whose family interest and private fortune he hoped fice might have been completed, as doubtless has to advance his career. In her right, he became happened in many similar instances, had it not been possessor of a manor of some value, at the distance for the courage of an elder sister, who revealed of a few miles from Waverley-Honour. to the wealthy suitor that Lady Emily's affections Little Edward, the hero of our tale, then in his were fixed upon a young soldier of fortune, a near fifth year, was their only child. It chanced that relation of her own. Sir Everard manifested great the infant with his maid had strayed one morning emotion on receiving this intelligence, which was to a mile's distance from the avenue of Brere-wood contirmed to him, in a private interview, by the Lodge, his father's seat. Their attention was atyoung lady herself, although under the most dread-tracted by a carriage drawn by six stately long, ful apprehensions of her father's indignation. tailed black horses, and with as much carving and

Honour and generosity were hereditary attri- gilding as would have done honour to my lord tates of the house of Waverley. With a grace and mayor's. It was waiting for the owner, who was delicacy worthy the hero of a romance, Sir Everard at a little distance inspecting the progress of a halfwithdrew his claim to the land of Lady Emily. He built farm-house. I know not whether the boy's liad even, before leaving Blandeville Castle, the nurse had been a Welsh or a Scotch-woman, or in address to extort from her father a consent to her what manner he associated a shield emblazoned union with the object of her choice. What argu- with three ermines with the idea of personal proments he used on this point cannot exactly be known, perty, but he no sooner beheld this family emblem, for Sir Everard was never supposed strong in the than he stoutly determined on vindicating his right pomers of persuasion; but the young officer, imme to the splendid vehicle on which it was displayed. diately after this transaction, rose in the army with The Baronet arrived while the boy's maid was in a rapidity far surpassing the usual pace of unpa- | vain endeavouring to make him desist from his tronised professional merit, although, to outward determination to appropriate the giided coach and appearance, that was all he had to depend upon. six. The rencontre was at a happy moment for

The shock which Sir Everard encountered upon Edward, as his uncle had been just eyeing wistthis occasion, although diminished by the conscious- fully, with something of a feeling like envy, the ness of having acted virtuously and generously, had chubby boys of the stout yeoman whose mansion its effect upon his future life. His resolution of was building by his direction. In the round-faced marriage had been adopted in a fit of indignation; rosy cherub before him, bearing his eye and his the labour of courtship did not quite suit the digni- name, and vindicating a hereditary title to his fafied indolence of his habits; he had but just escaped | mily, affection, and patronage, by means of a tie the risk of marrying a woman who could never love which Sir Everard held as sacred as eitlier Garter him, and his pride could not be greatly flattered by or Blue-mantle, Providence seemed to have granted the termination of his amour, even if his heart had to him the very object best calculated to fill up the but suffered. The result of the whole matter was void in his hopes and affections. Sir Everard rehis return to Waverley-Honour without any trans turned to Waverley-Hall upon a led horse, which fer of his affections, notwithstanding the sighs and was kept in readiness for him, while the child and languishments of the fair tell-tale, who had revealed, his attendant were sent home in the carriage to in mere sisterly affection, the secret of Lady Emily's Brere-wood Lodge, with such a message as opened attachment, and in despite of the nods, winks, and to Richard Waverley a door of reconciliation with inuendoes of the officious lady mother, and the grave his elder brother. eulogiums which the Earl pronounced successively Their intercourse, however, though thus renewed, on the prudence, and good sense, and admirable continued to be rather formal and civil, than parEspositions, of his first, second, third, fourth, and taking of brotherly cordiality; yet it was sufficient furth laughters. The memory of his unsuccessful to the wishes of both parties. Sir Everard obtained, amour was with Sir Everard, as with many more in the frequent society of his little nephew, someof his temper, at once shy, proud, sensitive, and thing on which his hereditary pride might found indolent, a beacon against exposing himself to simi- the anticipated pleasure of a continuation of his kr mortification, pain, and fruitless exertion for the lineage, and where his kind and gentle affections time to come. He continued to live at Waverley could at the same time fully exercise themselves. Honour in the style of an old English gentleman, For Richard Waverley, he beheld in the growing atof an ancient descent and opulent fortune. His tachment between the uncle and nephew the means sister, Miss Rachel Waverley, presided at his table; of securing his son's, if not his own, succession to and they became, by degrees, an old bachelor and the hereditary estate, which he felt would be rather an ancient maiden lady, the gentlest and kindest of endangered than promoted by any attempt on his the Futaries of celibacy.

own part towards a closer intimacy with a man of The vehemence of Sir Everard's resentment Sir Everard's habits and opinions. azainst his brother was but short-lived; yet his dis Thus, by a sort of tacit compromise, little Edlike to the Whig and the placeman, though unable ward was permitted to pass the greater part of the to stimulate him to resume any active measures year at the Hall, and appeared to stand in the same prejudicial to Richard's interest in the succession intimate relation to both families, although their to the family estate, continued to maintain the cold-mutual intercourse was otherwise limited to formal ness between them. Richard knew enough of the messages, and more formal visits. The education world, and of his brother's temper, to believe that of the youth was regulated alternately by the taste by any ill-considered or precipitate advances on his and opinions of his uncle and of his father. But part, die might turn passive dislike into a more ac more of this in a subsequent chapter.

logy, upon the difference of idiom, the beauty of CHAPTER III.

felicitous expression, or the artificial combinations Education.

of syntax. “I can read and understand a Latin

author," said young Edward, with the self-confi. Tue education of our hero, Edward Waverley, dence and rash reasoning of tifteen, “ and Scaliger was of a nature somewhat desultory. In infancy, or Bentley could not do inuch more.” Alas! while his health suffered, or was supposed to suffer (which he was thus permitted to read only for the gratiis quite the same thing), by the air of London. As fication of his amusement, he foresaw not that he soon, therefore, as official duties, attendance on Par was losing for ever the opportunity of acquiring liament, or the prosecution of any of his plans of habits of firm and assiduous application, of gaining interest or ambition, called his father to town, which the art of controlling, directing, and concentrating was his usual residence for eight months in the the powers of his mind for earnest investigation, year, Edward was transferred to Waverley-Honour, an art far more essential than even that intimate and experienced a total change of instructors and acquaintance with classical learning which is the of lessons, as well as of residence. This might have primary object of study. been remedied, liad his father placed him under I am aware I may be here reminded of the nethe superintendence of a permanent tutor. But he cessity of rendering instruction agreeable to youth, considered that one of his choosing would probably and of Tasso's infusion of honey into the medicine have been unacceptable at Waverley-Honour, and prepared for a child; but an age in which children that such a selection as Sir Everard might have are taught the driest doctrines by the insinuating made, were the matter left to him, would haye bur- method of instructive games, has little reason to dened him with a disagreeable inmate, if not a po- dread the consequences of study being rendered too litical spy, in his family. He therefore prevailed serious or severe. The history of England is now upon his private secretary, a young man of taste reduced to a game at cards; -- the problems of maand accomplishments, to bestow an hour or two on thematics to puzzles and riddles, and the doctrines Edward's education while at Brere-wood Lodge, of arithmetic may, we are assured, be sufficiently and left his uncle answerable for his improvement acquired, by spending a few hours a-week at a now in literature while an inmate at the Hall.

and complicated edition of the Royal Game of the This was in some degree respectably provided Goose. There wants but one step further, and the for. Sir Everard's chaplain, an Oxonian, who had Creed and Ten Commandents may be tauglit in the lost his fellowship for declining to take the oaths same manner, without the necessity of the grave at the accession of George I., was not only an ex face, deliberate tone of recital, and devout attention, celient classical scholar, but reasonably skilled in hitherto exacted from the well-governed childhood science, and master of most modern languages. He of this realm. It may, in the meantime, be subject was, however, old and indulgent, and the recurring of serious consideration, whether those who are interregnum, during which Edward was entirely accustomed only to acquire instruction through the freed from his discipline, occasioned such a relaxa- medium of amusement, may not be brought to reject tion of authority, that the youth was permitted, in that which approaches under the aspect of study; a great measure, to learn as he pleased, what he whether those who learn history by the cards, may pleased, and when he pleased. This slackness of not be led to prefer the means to the end; and wherule might have been ruinous to a boy of slow un- ther, were we to teach religion in the way of sport, derstanding, who, feeling labour in the acquisition our pupils may not thereby be gradually induced to of knowledge, would have altogether neglected it, make sport of their religion. To our young hero, who save for the command of a task-master; and it was pernitted to seek his instruction only accordmight have proved equally dangerous to a youth ing to the bent of his own mind, and who, of conwhose animal spirits were more powerful than his sequence, only sought it so long as it afforded him imagination or his feelings, and whom the irre- amusement, the indulgence of his tutors was atsistible influence of Alma would have engaged intended with evil consequences, which long continued field-sports from morning till night. But the cha to influence his character, happiness, and utility. racter of Edward Waverley was remote from either Edward's power of imagination and love of literaof these. His powers of apprehension were so un ture, although the former was vivid, and the latter commonly quick, as almost to resemble intuition, ardent, were so far from affording a remedy to this and the chief care of his preceptor was to prevent peculiar evil, that they rather inflamed and increased him, as a sportsinan would phrase it, from over its violence. The library at Waverley-Honour, a running his game, that is, from acquiring his know- large Gothic room, with double arches and a gallery, ledge in a slight, flimsy, and inadequate manner. contained such a miscellaneous and extensive col. And here the instructor had to combat another lection of volumes as had been assembled together, propensity too often united with brilliancy of laney during the course of two hundred years, by a family and vivacity of talent, -- that indolence, namely, of which had been always wealthy, and inclined, of disposition, which can only be stirred by some course, as a mark of splendour, to furnish their strong motive of gratification, and which renounces shelves with the current literature of the day, withstudy as soon as curiosity is gratified, the pleasure out much scrutiny, or nicety of discrimination. of conquering the first difficulties exhausted, and Throughout this ample realm Edward was permitthe novelty of pursuit at an end. Edward would ted to roam at large. His tutor had his own stuthrow himself with spirit upon any classical author dies; and church politics and controversial divinity, of which his preceptor proposed the perusal, make together with a love of learned ease, though they himself master of the style so far as to understand did not withdraw his attention at stated times from the story, and, if that pleased or interested him, he the progress of his patron's presumptive heir, infinished the volume. But it was in vain to attempt duced him readily to grasp at any apology for not fixing his attention on critical distinctions of pliilo-extending a strict and regulated survey towards

lvis general studies. Sir Everard liad never been to man, and qualifies liim to support and adorn an himself a student, and, like his sister Miss Rachel elevated situation in society. Waverley, he held the coinmon doctrine, that idle The occasional attention of his parents might Dess is incompatible with reading of any kind, and indeed have been of service, to prevent the dissităiat the mere tracing the alphabetical characters pation of mind incidental to such a desultory course with the eye is in itself a useful and meritorious task, of reading. But his mother died in the seventh year without scrupulously considering what ideas or doc- after the reconciliation between the brothers, and tribes they may happen to convey. With a desire of Richard Waverley himseif, who, after this event, amusement, therefore, which better discipline might resided more constantly in London, was too much soon have converted into a thirst for knowledge, interested in his own plans of wealth and ambition, yang Waverley drove through the sea of books, to notice more respecting Edward, than that he was like a vessel without a pilot or a rudder. Nothing of a very bookish turn, and probably destined to be perhaps increases by indulgence more than a de a bishop. If he could have discovered and analyzed sulwry habit of reading, especially under such op- his son's waking dreams, he would have formed a portunities of gratifying it. I believe one reason very different conclusion. wby such numerous instances of erudition occur among the lower ranks is, that, with the same powers of mind, the poor student is limited to a narrow circle for indulging his passion for books, and must

CHAPTER IV. Decessarily make himself master of the few he pos

Castle-Building. seses ere he can acquire more. Edward, on the contrary, like the epicure who only deigned to take I have already hinted, that the dainty, squeam2 single morsel from the sunny side of a peaclı, read ish, and fastidious taste acquired by a surfeit of idle do volume a moment after it ceased to excite his reading, had not only rendered our hero unfit for curiosity or interest; and it necessarily happened, serious and sober study, but had even disgusted him that the habit of seeking only this sort of gratifica- in some degree with that in which he had hitherto tim rendered it daily more difficult of attainment, indulged. tal the passion for reading, like other strong appe He was in his sixteenth year, when his habits of tites, produced by indulgence a sort of satiety. abstraction and love of solitude became so much

Ere he attained this indifference, however, he had marked, as to excite Sir Everard's affectionate apread, and stored in a memory of uncommon tena- prehension. He tried to counterbalance these proeity, much curious, though ill-arranged and miscel- pensities, by engaging his nephew in field-sports, laneous information. In English literature he was which had been the chief pleasure of his own youthmaster of Shakspeare and Milton, of our earlier dra- ful days. But although Edward eagerly carried thie matic authors, of many picturesque and interesting gun for one season, yet when practice liad given him pessages from our old historical chronicles, and was some dexterity, the pastime ceased to afford him jarticularly well acquainted with Spenser, Drayton, amusement. and other pocts who have exercised themselves on In the succeeding spring, thic perusal of old Isaac romantie fiction, of all themes the most fascinating Walton's fascinating volume determined Edward to a youthful imagination, before the passions have to become “ a brother of the angle.” But of all rased themselves, and demand poetry of a more diversions which ingenuity ever devised for the sentimental description. In this respect his ac relief of idleness, fishing is the worst qualified to quaintance with Italian opened him yet a wider amuse a man who is at once indolent and impatient; rante. He had perused the numerous romantic and our hero's rod was speedily flung aside. Society poems, which, from the days of Pulci, have been and example, which, more than any other motives, a tavourite exercise of the wits of Italy, and had master and sway the natural bent of our passions, Bought gratification in the numerous collections of might have had their usual effect upon the youthful uneile, wluch were brought forth by the genius of visionary. But the neighbourhood was thinly intint elegant though luxurious nation, in emulation habited, and the home-bred young squires whom it of the Lecameron. In classical literature, Waver- afforded, were not of a class fit to form Edward's bey had made the usual progress, and read the usual usual companions, far less to excite him to emulation authors; and the French had afforded him an almost in the practice of those pastimes which composed the exhaustless collection of memoirs, scarcely more serious business of their lives. faithul than romances, and of romances so well There were a few other youths of better educasritun as hardly to le distinguished from memoirs. tion, and a more liberal character; but from their The splendid pages of Froissart, with his heart- society also our hero was in some degree excluded. stirring and eye-dazzling descriptions of war and of Sir Everard had, upon the death of Queen Ame, tournaments, were among his chief favourites; and resigned his seat in Parliament, and, as his age fruan those of Brantome and de la Noue he learned | increased and the number of his contemporaries to compare the wild and loose yet superstitious cha- diminished, had gradually withdrawn himself from racter of the nobles of the League, with the stern, society; so that when, upon any particular occasion, rigid, and sometimes turbulent disposition of the Edward mingled with accomplished and well-eduHuguenot party. The Spanish had contributed cated young men of his own rank and expectations, to his stock of chivalrous and romantic lore. The he felt an inferiority in their company, not so much earlier literature of the northern nations did not from deficiency of information, as from the want of escape the study of one who read rather to awaken the skill to command and to arrange that which he the imagination than to benefit the understanding. possessed. A deep and increasing sensibility added And yet, knowing much that is known but to few, to this dislike of society. The idea of having comEluard Waverley might justly be considered as mitted tlie slightest solecisın in politeness, whether igurant, since lie know little of what adds diguity real or imaginary, was agony to him; for perlaps

« PreviousContinue »