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terpose. “Whisht, gudewife ; is this a time, or is this a day, to be singing your ranting fule-sangs in ?--a time when the wine of wrath is poured out without mixture in the cup of indignation, and a day when the land should give testimony against popery and prelacy, and quakerism, and independency, and supremacy, and erastianism, and antimonianism, and a' the errors of the church.”
“And that's a' your whiggery,” re-echoed the virago ; “ that's a' your whiggery, and your presbytery, ye cut-lugged graning carles. What, d'ye think the lads wi’ the kilts will care for yere synods and yere presbyteries, and yere buttock-mail, and yere stool o' repentance ? Vengeance on the black face o't! mony an honester woman's been set upon it than streeks doon beside ony whig in the country. I my
Here John Mucklewrath, who dreaded her entering upon a detail of personal ex
periences, interposed his matrimonial authority. “ Gae hame, and be d (that I should say sae) and put on the sowens for supper.”
“And you, ye doil'd dotard,” replied his gentle helpmate, her wrath, which had hitherto wandered abroad over the whole assembly, being at once and violently impelled into its natural channel, " ye stand there hammering dog-heads for fules that will never snap them at a Highlandman, instead of earning bread for your family, and shoeing this winsome young gentle. man's horse that's just come frae the north Ise warrant him nane of your whingeing King George folk, but a gallant Gordon, at the least o' him." .ii; is
The eyes of the assembly were now turned upon Waverley, who took the opportunity to beg the smith to shợe his guide's horse with all speed, as he wished to proceed on his journey, for he had heard enough to make him sensible that there would be danger in delaying long in this
place. The smith's eyes rested on him with a look of displeasure and suspicion, not lessened by the eagerness with which his wife enforced Waverley's mandate. “D'ye hear what the weel-favoured young gentleman says, ye drunken ne'er-do
“And what may your name be, sir?" quoth Mucklewrath. : "It is of no consequence to you, my friend, provided I pay your labour." ..
“But it may be of consequence to the state, sir," replied an old farmer, smelling strongly of whisky and peat-smoke ; " and I doubt we maun delay your journey till you have seen the laird.” .
"You certainly,” said Waverley, haughtily,“ will find it both difficult and dangerous to detain me, unless you can produce some proper authority.” .
There was a pause, and a whisper among the crowd—“Secretary Murray;" “ Lord Lewis Gordon ;" “ May be the Chevalier himsel;" such were the surmises that passed hurriedly among them, and there was obviously an increasing disposition to resist Waverley's departure. He attempted to argue mildly with them, but his voluntary ally, Mrs Mucklewrath, broke in upon and drowned his expostulations, taking his part with an abusive violence, which was all set down to Edward's account by those on whom it was bestowed. “ Ye'll stop ony gentleman that's the Prince's friend?" for she too, though with other feelings, had adopted the general opinion respecting Waverley. “I dare ye to touch him," spreading abroad her long and mus. cular fingers, garnished with claws which a vulture might have envied. “I'll set my ten commandments in the face o' the first loon that lays a finger on him."
" Gae hame, gudewife,” quoth the farmer aforesaid ; “ it was better set you to be nursing the gudeman's bairns than to be deaving us here."
“ His bairns !" retorted the Amazon, re
garding her husband with a grin of ineffable contempt—" His bairns !
“O gin ye were dead, gudeman,
Then I wad ware my widowhood
This canticle, which excited a suppressed titter among the younger part of the audience, totally overcame the patience of the taunted man of the anvil. “ Deil be in me but I put this het gad down her throat,” cried he in a rhapsody of wrath, snatching a bar from the forge; and he might have executed his threat, had he not been withheld by a part of the mob, while the rest endeavoured to force the termagant out of his presence.
Waverley meditated a retreat in the confusion, but his horse was nowhere to be seen. At length he observed, at some distance, his faithful attendant, Ebenezer,