As Flora concluded her song, Fergus stood before them. 'I knew I
should find you here, even without the assistance of my friend
Bran. A simple and unsublimed taste now, like my own, would prefer
a jet d'eau at Versailles to this cascade, with all its
accompaniments of rock and roar; but this is Flora's Parnassus,
Captain Waverley, and that fountain her Helicon. It would be
greatly for the benefit of my cellar if she could teach her
coadjutor, Mac-Murrough, the value of its influence: he has just
drunk a pint of usquebaugh to correct, he said, the coldness of
the claret. Let me try its virtues.' He sipped a little water in
the hollow of his hand, and immediately commenced, with a
'O Lady of the desert, hail!
That lovest the harping of the Gael,
Through fair and fertile regions borne,
Where never yet grew grass or corn.
But English poetry will never succeed under the influence of a
Highland Helicon. Allons, courage!
O vous, qui buvez, a tasse pleine,
A cette heureuse f ontaine,
Ou on ne voit, sur le rivage,
Que quelques vilains troupeaux,
Suivis de nymphes de village,
Qui les escortent sans sabots—'
'A truce, dear Fergus! spare us those most tedious and insipid
persons of all Arcadia. Do not, for Heaven's sake, bring down
Coridon and Lindor upon us.'
'Nay, if you cannot relish la houlette et le chalumeau, have with
you in heroic strains.'
'Dear Fergus, you have certainly partaken of the inspiration of
Mac-Murrough's cup rather than of mine.'
'I disclaim it, ma belle demoiselle, although I protest it would
be the more congenial of the two. Which of your crack-brained
Italian romancers is it that says,
Io d'Elicona niente
Mi curo, in fe de Dio; che'l bere d'acque
(Bea chi ber ne vuol) sempre mi spiacque!
Good sooth, I reck nought of your Helicon;
Drink water whoso will, in faith I will drink none.]
But if you prefer the Gaelic, Captain Waverley, here is little
Cathleen shall sing you Drimmindhu. Come, Cathleen, astore (i.e.
my dear), begin; no apologies to the cean-kinne.'
Cathleen sung with much liveliness a little Gaelic song, the
burlesque elegy of a countryman on the loss of his cow, the comic
tones of which, though he did not understand the language, made
Waverley laugh more than once. [Footnote: This ancient Gaelic
ditty is still well known, both in the Highlands and in Ireland It
was translated into English, and published, if I mistake not,
under the auspices of the facetious Tom D'Urfey, by the title of
'Colley, my Cow.']
'Admirable, Cathleen!' cried the Chieftain; 'I must find you a
handsome husband among the clansmen one of these days.'
Cathleen laughed, blushed, and sheltered herself behind her
In the progress of their return to the castle, the Chieftain
warmly pressed Waverley to remain for a week or two, in order to
see a grand hunting party, in which he and some other Highland
gentlemen proposed to join. The charms of melody and beauty were
too strongly impressed in Edward's breast to permit his declining
an invitation so pleasing. It was agreed, therefore, that he
should write a note to the Baron of Bradwardine, expressing his
intention to stay a fortnight at Glennaquoich, and requesting him
to forward by the bearer (a gilly of the Chieftain's) any letters
which might have arrived for him.
This turned the discourse upon the Baron, whom Fergus highly
extolled as a gentleman and soldier. His character was touched
with yet more discrimination by Flora, who observed he was the
very model of the old Scottish cavalier, with all his excellencies
and peculiarities. 'It is a character, Captain Waverley, which is
fast disappearing; for its best point was a self-respect which was
never lost sight of till now. But in the present time the
gentlemen whose principles do not permit them to pay court to the
existing government are neglected and degraded, and many conduct
themselves accordingly; and, like some of the persons you have
seen at Tully-Veolan, adopt habits and companions inconsistent
with their birth and breeding. The ruthless proscription of party
seems to degrade the victims whom it brands, however unjustly. But
let us hope a brighter day is approaching, when a Scottish country
gentleman may be a scholar without the pedantry of our friend the
Baron, a sportsman without the low habits of Mr. Falconer, and a
judicious improver of his property without becoming a boorish
two-legged steer like Killancureit.'
Thus did Flora prophesy a revolution, which time indeed has
produced, but in a manner very different from what she had in her
The amiable Rose was next mentioned, with the warmest encomium on
her person, manners, and mind. 'That man,' said Flora, 'will find
an inestimable treasure in the affections of Rose Bradwardine who
shall be so fortunate as to become their object. Her very soul is
in home, and in the discharge of all those quiet virtues of which
home is the centre. Her husband will be to her what her father now
is, the object of all her care, solicitude, and affection. She
will see nothing, and connect herself with nothing, but by him and
through him. If he is a man of sense and virtue, she will
sympathise in his sorrows, divert his fatigue, and share his
pleasures. If she becomes the property of a churlish or negligent
husband, she will suit his taste also, for she will not long
survive his unkindness. And, alas! how great is the chance that
some such unworthy lot may be that of my poor friend! O that I
were a queen this moment, and could command the most amiable and
worthy youth of my kingdom to accept happiness with the hand of
'I wish you would command her to accept mine en attendant,' said
I don't know by what caprice it was that this wish, however
jocularly expressed, rather jarred on Edward's feelings,
notwithstanding his growing inclination to Flora and his
indifference to Miss Bradwardine. This is one of the
inexplicabilities of human nature, which we leave without
'Yours, brother?' answered Flora, regarding him steadily. 'No;
have another bride—Honour; and the dangers you must run in
pursuit of her rival would break poor Rose's heart.'
With this discourse they reached the castle, and Waverley soon
prepared his despatches for Tully-Veolan. As he knew the Baron was
punctilious in such matters, he was about to impress his billet
with a seal on which his armorial bearings were engraved, but he
did not find it at his watch, and thought he must have left it at
Tully-Veolan. He mentioned his loss, borrowing at the same time
the family seal of the Chieftain.
'Surely,' said Miss Mac-Ivor, 'Donald Bean Lean would not—'
'My life for him in such circumstances,' answered her brother;
'besides, he would never have left the watch behind.'
'After all, Fergus,' said Flora, 'and with every allowance, I am
surprised you can countenance that man.'
'I countenance him? This kind sister of mine would persuade you,
Captain Waverley, that I take what the people of old used to call
"a steakraid," that is, a "collop of the foray," or, in plainer
words, a portion of the robber's booty, paid by him to the Laird,
or Chief, through whose grounds he drove his prey. O, it is
certain that, unless I can find some way to charm Flora's tongue,
General Blakeney will send a sergeant's party from Stirling (this
he said with haughty and emphatic irony) to seize Vich lan Vohr,
as they nickname me, in his own castle.'
'Now, Fergus, must not our guest be sensible that all this is
folly and affectation? You have men enough to serve you without
enlisting banditti, and your own honour is above taint. Why don't
you send this Donald Bean Lean, whom I hate for his smoothness and
duplicity even more than for his rapine, out of your country at
once? No cause should induce me to tolerate such a character.'
'No cause, Flora?' said the Chieftain significantly.
'No cause, Fergus! not even that which is nearest to my heart.
Spare it the omen of such evil supporters!'
'O but, sister,' rejoined the Chief gaily, 'you don't consider my
respect for la belle passion. Evan Dhu Maccombich is in love with
Donald's daughter, Alice, and you cannot expect me to disturb him
in his amours. Why, the whole clan would cry shame on me. You know
it is one of their wise sayings, that a kinsman is part of a man's
body, but a foster-brother is a piece of his heart.'
'Well, Fergus, there is no disputing with you; but I would all
this may end well.'
'Devoutly prayed, my dear and prophetic sister, and the best way
in the world to close a dubious argument. But hear ye not the
pipes, Captain Waverley? Perhaps you will like better to dance to
them in the hall than to be deafened with their harmony without
taking part in the exercise they invite us to.'
Waverley took Flora's hand. The dance, song, and merry-making
proceeded, and closed the day's entertainment at the castle of
Vich Ian Vohr. Edward at length retired, his mind agitated by a
variety of new and conflicting feelings, which detained him from
rest for some time, in that not unpleasing state of mind in which
fancy takes the helm, and the soul rather drifts passively along
with the rapid and confused tide of reflections than exerts itself
to encounter, systematise, or examine them. At a late hour he fell
asleep, and dreamed of Flora Mac-Ivor.