Imagens da página

a fishing question, calculated to ascertain how far Waverley was disposed to submit to petty imposition. “My part to replace your horse's shoe, you rascal !” said Waverley, mistaking the purport of the intimation.

“ Indubitably," answered Mr Cruickshanks ; " though there was no precise clause to that effect, it canno be expected that I am to pay for the casualties whilk may befall the puir naig while in your honour's service-natheless if your honour”

i . ..." O, you mean I am to pay the farrier; but where shall we find one?"

Rejoiced at discerning there would be no objection made on the part of his temporary master, Mr Cruickshanks assured him that Cairnvreckan, a village which they were about to enter, was happy in an excellent blacksmith; “but as he was a professor, he would drive a nail for no man on the Sabbath, or kirk fast, unless it were in a case of absolute necessity, for which he always charged sixpence each shoe.” The most important part of this communication, in the opinion of the speaker, made a very slight impression on the hearer, who only internally wondered what college this veterinary professor belonged, to, not aware that the word was used to denote any person who pretended to uncommon sanctity of faith and manner.

As they entered the village of Cairnvreckan, they speedily distinguished the smith's house. Being also a public, it was two stories high, and proudly reared its crest, covered with grey slate, above the thatched hovels by which it was surround ed. The adjoining smithy betokened none of the Sabbatical silence and repose which Ebenezer had augured from the sanctity: of his friend. On the contrary, hammer clashed and anvil rạng, the bellows groaned, and the whole apparatus of Vulcan appeared to be in full activity. Nor was the labour of a rural and pacific nature. The mastersmith, benempt, as his sign intima

ted, John Mucklewrath, with two assist ants, toiled busily in arranging, repairing, and furbishing old muskets, pistols, and swords, which lay scattered around bis work-shop in military confusion. - The open shed, containing the forge, was crowded with persons who came and went as if receiving and communicating import ant news; and a single glance at the aspect of the people who traversed the street in haste, or i stood assembled 'in groups, with eyes elevated, and hands uplifted, annqunced that some extraordinary intelligence was agitating the public mind of the municipality of Cairnvreckán. "There is some news,” said mine host of the Candlestiek, 'pushing his lanthorn-jawed visage and bare-boned nag rudely forward into the crowd as there is some news, and if it please my Creator, I will forthwith obtain speerings thereof.", .

Waverley, with better regulated curiosity than bis attendant, dismounted, and gave his horse to a boy who stood idling

near. It arose, perhaps, from the shyness of his character in early youth, that he felt dislike at applying to a stranger even for casual information, without previously glancing at his physiognomy and appearance. While he looked about in order to select the person with whom he would most willingly hold communication, the buzz around saved him in some degree the trouble of interrogatories. The names of Lochiel, Clanronald, Glengary, and other distinguished Highland Chiefs, among whom Vich Ian Vohr was repeatedly mentioned, were as familiar in men's mouths as household words; and from the alarm generally expressed, he easily con. ceived that their descent into the Lowlands, at the head of their armed tribes, had either already taken place, or was instantly apprehended.

Ere Waverley could ask particulars, a. strong large-boned hard-featured woman, about forty, dressed as if her clothes had been flung on with a pitchfork, her cheeks

flushed with a scarlet red where they were not smutted with soot and lamp-black, jostled through the crowd, and, brandishing high a child of two years old, which she danced in her arms, without regard to its screams of terror, sang forth, with all her might,

« Charlie is my darling, my darling, my darling,“ Charlie is my darling, .

The young Chevalier.". .

“D'ye hear what's come ower, ye now, ye. whingeing whig carles ? D’ye hear wha's coming to cow yere cracks ?

« Little wot ye wha’s coming,
Little wot ye wha's coming,

A the wild Macraws' are coming." :,

The Vulcan of Cairnvreckan, who acknowledged his Venus in this exulting Bacchanal, regarded her with a grim and ire-foreboding countenance, while some of the senators of the village hastened to in


« AnteriorContinuar »