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who, as soon as he had perceived the turn matters were likely to take, had withdrawn both horses from the press, and, mounted on the one, and holding the other, answered the loud and repeated cries of Waverley for his horse, “ Na, na! if ye are nae friend to kirk and the king, and are detained as siccan a person, ye maun answer to honest men of the country for breach o' contract; and I maun keep the nag and the walise for damage and expence, in respect my horse and mysell will lose tomorrow's day's-wark, besides the afternoon preaching." Edward, out of patience, hemmed in and hustled by the rabble on every side, and every moment expecting personal violence, resolved to try measures of intimidation, and at length drew a pocketpistol, threatening, on the one hand, to shoot whomsoever dared to stop him, and on the other menacing Ebenezer with a similar doom, if he stirred a foot with the horses. The sapient Partridge says, that one man with a pistol is equal to an hun
dred unarmed, because, though he cau shoot but one of the multitude, yet no one knows but that he himself may be that luckless individual. The levy en masse of Cairnyreckan would therefore probably have given way, nor would Ebenezer, whose natural paleness had waxed three shades more cadaverous, have ventured to dispute a mandate so enforced, had not the Vulcan of the village, eager to discharge upon some more worthy object the fury which his helpmate had provoked, and not ill satisfied to find such an object in Waverley, rushed at bim with the redhot bar of iron, with such determination, as made the discharge of his pistol an act of self-defence. The unfortunate man fell; and while Edward, thrilled with a natural horror at the incident, neither had presence of mind to unsheath his sword, nor to draw his remaining pistol, the populace threw themselves upon him, disarmed him, and were about to use him with great violence, when the appearance of a venerable. clergyman, the pastor of the parish, put a curb upon their fury.
This worthy man (none of the Goukthrapples or Rentowels) maintained his character with the common people, although he preached the practical fruits of Christian faith, as well as its abstract tenets, and was respected by the higher or.. ders, notwithstanding he declined soothing their speculative errors by converting the pulpit of the gospel into a school of heathen morality. Perhaps it is owing to this mixture of faith and practice in his doctrine, that, although his memory has formed a sort of era in the annals of Cairnyreckan, so that the parishioners, to denote what befell Sixty. Years since, still say it happened " in good Mr Morton's time,” I have never been able to discover which he belonged to, the evangelic or the moderate party, in the kirk. Nor do I hold the circumstance of much moment, since, in my own remembrance, the one was headed by an Erskine, the other by a Robertson,
Mr Morton had been alarmed by the discharge of the pistol, and the increasing hubbub around the smithy. His first attention, after he had directed the bye. standers to detain Waverley, but to ab. stain from injuring him, was turned to the body of Mucklewrath, over which his wife, in a revulsion of feeling, was weeping, howling, and tearing her elf locks, in a state little short of distraction. Upon raising up the smith, the first discovery was, that he was alive; and the next, that he was likely to live as long as if he had never heard the report of a pistol in his life. He had made a narrow escape, however; the bullet had grazed his head, and stunned him for a moment or two, which trance terror and confusion of spirit had prolonged somewhat longer. He now arose to demand vengeance on the person of Waverley, and with difficulty acquiesced in the proposal of Mr Morton, that he should be carried before the laird, as a justice of peace, and placed at his disposal. The rest of the assistants unanimously agreed to the measure recommended; even Mrs Mùcklewrath, who had begun to recover from her hysterics, whimpered forth,—"She Wadna say naething against what the minister proposed; he was 'e'en ower gude for his trade, and she hoped to see him wi' a dainty decent bishop's gown on his back; à comelier sight than your Geneva cloaks and bands, I wiss.” .