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· UPON hearing the unwelcome sound of the drum, Major Melville hastily opened a sashed door, and stepped out upon a sort of terrace which divided his house from the highroad from which the martial music proceeded. Waverley and his new friend followed him, though probably he would have dispensed with their attendance. They soon recognized in solemn march, first, the performer upon the drum; secondly, a large flag of four compartments, in which were inscribed the words, COVENANT, Kirk, King, KINGDOMS. The person who was honoured with this charge was followed by the commander of the party, a thin, dark, rigid-looking man, about sixty years old. The spiritual pride, which, in mine Host of the Candlestick, mantled in a sort of supercilious hypocrisy, was, in this man's face, elevated and yet darkened by genuine and undoubting fa. naticism. It was impossible to behold him without the imagination placing him in some strange crisis, where religious zeal was the ruling principle. A martyr at thę stake, a soldier in the field, a lonely and banished wanderer consoled by the intensity and supposed purity of his faith under every earthly privation ; perhaps a perse. cuting inquisitor, as terrific in power as unyielding in adversity; any of these seemed congenial charaéters to this personage. With these high traits of energy, there was something in the affected precision and solemnity of his deportment and discourse, that bordered upon the ludicrous ; so that, according to the mood of the spectator's mind, and the light under which Mr Gilfillan presented himself, one might have feared, admired, or laughed. at him. His dress was that of a west-country peasant, of better materials indeed than that of the lower rank, but in no respect affecting either the mode of the age, or of the Scottish gentry at any period. i His arms were a broad-sword and pistols, which, from the antiquity of their appearance, might have seen the rout of Pentland, or Bothwell Brigg. io. ., - As he came up a few steps to meet Ma. jor Melville, and touched solemnly, but slightly, his huge and overbrimmed blue bonnet, in answer to the Major, who had courteously raised a small triangular goldlaced hat, Waverley was irresistibly impressed with the idea that he beheld a leader of the Roundheads of yore, in con férence with one of Marlborough's captains. - The group of about thirty armed nien who followed this gifted commander, was of a motley description. They were in ordinary Lowland dresses, of dif. ferent colours, which, contrasted with the arms which they bore, gave them an irre
gular and mobbish appearance, so much is the eye accustomed to connect uniformity of dress with the military character. In front were a few who apparently partook of their leader's. enthusiasm; men obvi. ously to be feared in a combat where their natural courage was exalted by religious zeal.'. Others puffed and strutted, filled with the importance of conveying arms, and all the novelty of their situation, while the rest, apparently fatigued witli their march, dragged their limbs listlessly along, or straggled from their companions to procure such refreshinents as the neighbouring cottages and ale-houses afforded. “ Six grenadiers of Ligonier's," thought the Major to himself, as his mind reverted to his own military experience, “would have sent all these fellows to the right about.”
Greeting, however, Mr Gilfillan civilly, he requested to know if he had received the letter he sent to him upon his march, and could undertake the charge of the
state-prisoner whom he there mentioned, as far as Stirling Castle.. “ Yea,” was the concise reply of the Cameronian leader, in a voice which seemed to issue from the very penetralia of his person. ;,
“ But your escort, Mr Gilfillạn, is not so strong as I expected.”
“Some of the people," replied Gilfillan, “ hungered and were athirst by the way, and tarried until their poor souls were refreshed with the word.” :." I am sorry, sir, you did not trust to your refreshing your men at Cairnyreçk. an; whatever my house contains, is at the command of persons employed in the ser,
..“ It was not of creature-comforts I spake,” answered the Covenanter, regarding Major Melville with something like a smile of contempt,“ howbeit, I thank you; but the people remained waiting upon the precious Mr Jabesh Rentowel for the out-pouring of the afternoon exhortation."