Imagens da página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

indulgence of curiosity; and having de. clined Mrs Flockhart's compliment of a morning, i. e. a matutinal dram, being probably the only man in the Chevalier's

army by whom such a courtesy would have been rejected, he made his adieus, and departed with Callum.

“ Callum," said he, as they proceeded down a dirty close to gain the southern skirts of the Canongate, “what shall I do for a horse ?"

:: Ta deil ane ye maun think of,” said Callum. “ Vich Ian Vohr’si marching on foot at the head o' his kin, (no to say the Prince, wba does the like,) wi’his target on: his shoulder; and ye maun e'en be neighbour like.”

“ And so I will, Callum, --give me my target;- so, there we are fixed. How does it look ?"

“ Like the bra’ Highlander at's.paint--> ed on the board afore the miekle change. house they ca' Luckie Middlemass's,” an. swered Callum; meaning, I must observe,

a high compliment; for, in his opinion, Luckie Middlemass's sign was an exquisite specimen of art. Waverley, however, not feeling the full force of this polite si. mile, asked him no farther questions.

Upon extricating themselves from the mean and dirty suburbs of the metropolis, and emerging into the open air, Waverley felt a renewal both of health and spirits, and turned his recollection with firmness upon the events of the preceding evening, and with hope and resolution towards those of the approaching day.

When he had surmounted a small crag. gy eminence, called St Leonard's Hill, the King's Park, or the hollow between the mountain of Arthur's seat, and the rising grounds on which the southern part of Edinburgh is now built, lay beneath him, and displayed a singular and animating prospect. It was occupied by the army of the Highlanders, now in the act of preparing for their march.; Waverley had already seen something of the kind at the hunting.match which he attended with Fergus Mac-Ivor, but this was upon a scale of much greater magnitude, and incomparably deeper interest. The rocks, which formed the back-ground of the scene, and the very sky itself, rung with the clang of the bagpipers, summoning forth, each with his appropriate pibroch, his chieftain and clan. The mountaineers, rousing themselves from their couch under the canopy of heaven, with the hum and bustle of a confused and irregular multitude, like bees alarmed and arming in their hives, seemed to possess all the pliability of movement fitted to execute military maneuvres. Their motions appeared spontaneous and confu. sed, but the result was order and regularity; so that a general must have praised the conclusion, though a martinet might have ridiculed the method by which it was attained.

The sort of complicated medley created by the hasty arrangement of the various clans under their respective banners, for the purpose of getting into the order of march, was in itself a gay and lively spec- . tacle. They had no tents to strike, having generally, and by choice, slept upon the open field, although the autumn was now vaning, 'and the nights beginning to be frosty. After forming for a little while, there was exhibited a changing, fluctuating, and confused appearance of waving tartans and floating plumes, and of banners displaying the proud gathering word of Clanronald, Ganion Coheriga-(gainsay who dares ;) Loch-Sloy-Forth, fortune, and fill the fetters, the motto of the Marquis of Tullibardine ; Bydand, that of Lord Lewis Gordon ; and the appropriate signal words and emblems of many other chieftains and clans.

At length the mixed and waverinig mul. titude arranged themselves into a narrow and dusky column of great length, stretching through the whole extent of the val. ley. In the front of the column the standard of the Chevalier was displayed, bearing a red cross upon a white ground, with the motto Tandem Triumphans. The few cavalry, being chiefly Lowland gentry, with their domestic servants and retainers, formed the advanced guard of the army, and their standards, of which they had rather too many in respect of their numbers, were seen waving upon the extreme verge of the horizon. Many members of this body, among whom Waverley accidentally remarked Balmaw happle, and his lieutenant, Jinker, (which last, however, had been reduced, with several others, by the advice of the Baron of Bradwardine, to the situation of what he called reforined officers, or reformadoes,) added to the liveliness, thought by no means to the re, gularity, of the scene, by galloping their horses as fast forward as, the press would permit, to join their proper station in the yan. The fascinations of the Circes of the High Street, and the potions of strength with which they had been drenched over night, had probably detained these heroes

.

« AnteriorContinuar »