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" A favourable opportunity !-Inclined in principles Can such lukewarm adbe. rence be honourable to yourselves, or gratifying to your lawful sovereign?—Think, from my present feelings, what I should suffer when I held the place of member in a family, where the rights which I hold most sacred are subjected to cold discussion, and only deemed worthy of support when they shall appear on the point of triumphing without it!"
“Your doubts,” quickly replied Waverley, “ are unjust so far as concerns myself. The cause that I shall assert, I dare support through every danger, as undauntedly as the boldest who draws sword in it.” .
Of that,” answered Flora, “ I cannot doubt for a moment. But consult your own good sense and reason rather than a prepossession hastily adopted, probably only because you have met a young woman possessed of the usual accomplishments, in a sequestered and romantic situation. Let your part in this great and pe
rilous drama rest upon conviction, and not upon a hurried, and probably ' temporary feelings. . ii. ' .
Waverley attempted to reply, but his words failed him.' Every sentiment that Flora had uttered vindicated the strength of his attachment; for even her loyalty, although wildly enthusiastic, was generous and noble, and disdained to avail itself of any indirect means of supporting the cause to which she was devoted.
After walking a little way in silence down the path, Flora thus resumed the conversation. One word more, Mr Wa. verley, ere we bid farewell to this topic for ever; and forgive my boldness if that word have the air of advice. My brother Fergus is anxious that you should join him in his present enterprise. But do not consent to this ;-you could not, by your single exertions, further his success, and you would inevitably share his fall, if it be God's pleasure that fall he must. Your character also would suffer irretrievably.
vol. II. . D
Let me beg you will return to your own country; and, having publicly freed your self from every tie to the usurping go. vernment, I trust you will see cause, and find opportunity, to serve your injured sovereign with effect, and stand forth, as your loyal ancestors, at the head of your natural followers and adherents, a worthy representative of the house of Waverley."
" And should I be so happy as thus to distinguish myself, might I not hope”
" Forgive my interruption. The present time only is ours, and I can but explain to you with candour the feelings which I now entertain ; how they might be altered by a train of events too favourable perhaps to be hoped for, it were in vain even to conjecture : Only be assured, Mr Waverley, that, after my brother's honour and happiness, there is none which I shall more sincerely pray for than for yours.”
With these words she parted from
him, for they were now arrived where two paths separated. Waverley reached the castle amidst a medley of conflicting passions. He avoided any private interview with Fergus, as he did not find him. self able either to encounter his raillery, or reply to his solicitations. The wild revelry of the feast, for Mac-Ivor kept open table for his clan, served in some degree to stun reflection. When their festivity was ended, he began to consider how he should again meet Miss Mac-Ivor after the painful and interesting explanation of the morning. But Flora did not appear. Fergus, whose eyes flashed when he was told by Cathleen that her mistress designed to keep her apartment that evening, went himself in quest of her; but apparently his "remonstrances were in vain, for he re. turned with a heightened complexion, and manifest symptoms of displeasure. The rest of the evening passed on without any allusion, on the part either of Fergus or Waverley, to the subject which engrossed
the reflections of the latter, and perhaps of both. ;? ierine
When retired to his own 'apartment, Ed. ward endeavoured to sum the business of the day. That the repulse he had received from Flora would be persisted in for the present, there was no doubt. But could he hope for ultimate success in case circumstances permitted the renewal of his suit? Would the enthusiastic loyalty, which at this animating moment left no room for a softer passion, survive, at least in its engrossing force, the success or the failure of the present political machinations? And if so, could he hope that the interest which she had acknowledged him to possess in her favour, might be improved into a warmer attachment? He taxed his memory to recall every word she had used, with the appropriate looks and gestures which had enforced them, and ended by finding himself in the same state of uncertainty. It was very late before sleep