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their rightful throne. It is impossible to express to you the devotion of my feelings on this single subject, and I will frankly confess, that it has so occupied my mind as to exclude every thought respecting what is called my own settlement in life. Let me but live to see the day of that happy restoration, and a Highland cottage, a French convent, or an English palace, will be alike indifferent to me."
“But, dearest Flora, how is your enthusiastic zeal for the exiled family inconsistent with my happiness ?”.
“ Because you seek, or ought to seek, in the object of your attachment, a heart whose principal delight should be in augmenting your domestic felicity, and returning your affection, even to the height of romance. To a man of less keen sensibility, and less romantic tenderness of disposition, Flora Mac-Ivor might give content, if not happiness ; for, were the irrevocable words spoken, never would she be deficient in the duties which she vowed."
“ And why, — why, Miss Mac-Ivor, should you think yourself a more valuable treasure to one who is less capable of loving, of admiring you, than to me?"
Simply because the tone of our affections would be more in unison, and because his more blunted sensibility would not require the return of enthusiasm which I have not to bestow. But you, Mr Waverley, would for ever refer to the idea of domestic happiness which your imagination is capable of painting, and whatever fell short of that ideal representation would be construed into coldness and indifference, while you might consider the enthusiasm with which I regarded the success of the royal family, as defrauding your affection of its due return."
“ In other words, Miss Mac-Ivor, you cannot love me.”
“ I could esteem you, Mr Waverley, as much, perhaps more, than any man I have ever seen ; but I cannot love you as you ought to be loved. O! do not, for your
own sake, desire so hazardous an experiment. The woman whom you marry ought to have affections and opinions moulded upon yours. Her studies ought to be your studies ;-her wishes, her feelings, her hopes, her fears, should all mingle with yours. She should enhance your pleasures, share your sorrows, and cheer your melan. choly."
.“ And why will not you, Miss Mac-Ivor, who can so well describe a happy union, why will not you be yourself the person you describe ?”
“ Is it possible you do not yet comprehend me? Have I not told you, that every keener sensation of my mind is bent exclusively towards an event, upon which indeed I have no power but those of my earnest prayers ?"
“And might not the granting the suit I solicit, even advance the interest to which you have devoted yourself? My family is wealthy and powerful, inclined in principles to the Stuart race, and should a favourable opportunity” —
" A favourable opportunity !-Inclined in principles !--Can such lukewarm adherence be honourable to yourselves, or gratifying to your lawful sovereign ?- Think, from my present feelings, what I should suffer when I held the place of member in a family, where the rights which I hold most sacred are subjected to cold discussion, and only deemed worthy of support when they shall appear on the point of triumphing without it!"
“Your doubts," quickly replied Waverley, “are unjust so far as concerns myself. The cause that I shall assert, I dare support through every danger, as undauntedly as the boldest who draws sword in it."
“Of that,” answered Flora, “ I cannot doubt for a moment. But consult your own good sense and reason rather than a prepossession hastily adopted, probably only because you have met a young woman possessed of the usual accomplishments, in à sequestered and romantic situation.: Let your part in this great and pe
rilous drama rest upon conviction, and not upon a hurried, and probably a temporary feeling.”
Waverley attempted to reply, but his words failed him. Every sentiment that Flora had uttered vindicated the strength of his attachment; for even her loyalty, although wildly enthusiastic, was generous and noble, and disdained to avail itself of any indirect means of supporting the cause to which she was devoted.
After walking a little way in silence down the path, Flora thus resumed the conversation:-“One word more, Mr Waverley, ere we bid farewell to this topic for ever; and forgive my boldness if that word have the air of advice. My brother Fergus is anxious that you should join him in his present enterprise. But do not consent to this ; --you could not, by your single exertions, further his success, and you would inevitably share his fall, if it be God's pleasure that fall he must. Your character also would suffer irretrievably.