Imagens da página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

of Flora, that you are the only man in England for whom I would say so much. But before you shake my hand so warmly, there is more to be considered-Your own family, will they approve your connecting yourself with the sister of a high-born Highland beggar?"

“My uncle's situation, his general opinions, and his uniform indulgence, entitle me to say, that birth and personal qualities are all he would look to in such a connection. And where can I find both united in such excellence as in your sister?"

“O no where !-cela va sans dire. But your father will expect a father's prerogative in being consulted.”

“ Surely; but his late breach with the ruling powers removes all apprehension of objection on his part, especially as I am convinced that my uncle will be warm in my cause.”

“Religion perhaps--though we are not bigotted Catholics."

“My mother was of the church of Rome, and her religion was never objected to by my family.-Do not think of my friends, dear Fergus; let me rather have your influence where it may be more necessary to remove obstacles-I mean with your lovely sister.”

“My lovely sister, like her loving brother, is very apt to have a pretty decisive will of her own, by which, in this case, you must be ruled; but you shall not want my interest, nor my counsel. And, in the first place, I will give you one hint-Loyalty is her ruling passion; and since she could spell an English book, she has been in love with the memory of the gallant Captain Wogan, who renounced the service of the usurper Cromwell to join the standard of Charles II. marched a handful of cavalry from London to the Highlands to join Middleton, then in arms for the king, and at length died gloriously in the royal cause. Ask her to shew you some verses she made on his history and

fate ; they have been much admired, I assure you. The next point is I think I saw Flora go up, towards the water-fall a short time since-follow, man, follow! don't allow the garrison time to strengthen its purposes of resistance-Alerte a la muraille ! Seek Flora out, and learn her decision as soon as you can, and Cupid go with you, while I go to look over belts and cartouch-boxes.”

Waverley ascended the glen with an anxious and throbbing heart. Love, with all its romantic train of hopes, fears, and wishes, was mingled with other feelings of a nature less easily defined. He could not but remember how much this morning had changed his fate, and into what a complication of perplexity it was likely to plunge him. Sün-rise had seen him possessed of an esteemed rank in the honourable profession of arms, his father to all appearance rapidly rising in the favour of his sovereign ;-all this had passed away like a dream-he himself was dishonoured, his

father disgraced, and he had become involuntarily the confidant at least, if not the accomplice, of plans, dark, deep, and dangerous, which must infer either the subversion of the government he had so lately served, or the destruction of all who had participated in them. Should Flora even listen to his suit favourably, what prospect was there of its being brought to a happy termination amid the tumult of an impending insurrection ? Or how could he make the selfish request that she should leave Fergus, to whom she was so much attached, and, retiring with him to England, wait, as a distant spectator, the success of her brother's undertaking, or the ruin of all his hopes and fortunes ?-Or, on the other hand, to engage himself, with no other aid than his single arm, in the dangerous and precipitate councils of the Chieftain, to be whirled along by him, the partaker of all his desperate and impetuous motions, renouncing almost the power of judging, or deciding upon the rectitude or prudence of his actions,--this was no pleasing prospect for the secret pride of Waverley to stoop to. And yet what other conclusion remained, saving the rejection of his addresses by Flora, an alternative not to be thought of, in the present high-wrought state of his feelings, with any thing short of mental agony. Pondering the doubtful and dangerous prospect before him, he at length arrived near the cascade, where, as Fergus had augured, he found Flora seated. · She was quite alone, and as soon as she observed his approach, she rose and came to meet him. Edward attempted to say something within the verge of ordinary compliment and conversation, but found himself unequal to the task. Flora seem, ed at first equally embarrassed, but recovered herself more speedily, and (an unfavourable augury for Waverley's suit) was the first to enter upon the subject of their last interview. “ It is too important, in every point of view, Mr Waverley, to

« AnteriorContinuar »