The hint which the Chieftain had thrown out respecting Flora was
not unpremeditated. He had observed with great satisfaction the
growing attachment of Waverley to his sister, nor did he see any
bar to their union, excepting the situation which Waverley's
father held in the ministry, and Edward's own commission in the
army of George II. These obstacles were now removed, and in a
manner which apparently paved the way for the son's becoming
reconciled to another allegiance. In every other respect the match
would be most eligible. The safety, happiness, and honourable
provision of his sister, whom he dearly loved, appeared to be
ensured by the proposed union; and his heart swelled when he
considered how his own interest would be exalted in the eyes of
the ex-monarch to whom he had dedicated his service, by an
alliance with one of those ancient, powerful, and wealthy English
families of the steady cavalier faith, to awaken whose decayed
attachment to the Stuart family was now a matter of such vital
importance to the Stuart cause. Nor could Fergus perceive any
obstacle to such a scheme. Waverley's attachment was evident; and
as his person was handsome, and his taste apparently coincided
with her own, he anticipated no opposition on the part of Flora.
Indeed, between his ideas of patriarchal power and those which he
had acquired in France respecting the disposal of females in
marriage, any opposition from his sister, dear as she was to him,
would have been the last obstacle on which he would have
calculated, even had the union been less eligible.
Influenced by these feelings, the Chief now led Waverley in quest
of Miss Mac-Ivor, not without the hope that the present agitation
of his guest's spirits might give him courage to cut short what
Fergus termed the romance of the courtship. They found Flora, with
her faithful attendants, Una and Cathleen, busied in preparing
what appeared to Waverley to be white bridal favours. Disguising
as well as he could the agitation of his mind, Waverley asked for
what joyful occasion Miss Mac-Ivor made such ample preparation.
'It is for Fergus's bridal,' she said, smiling.
'Indeed!' said Edward; 'he has kept his secret well. I hope he
will allow me to be his bride's-man.'
'That is a man's office, but not yours, as Beatrice says,'
'And who is the fair lady, may I be permitted to ask, Miss
'Did not I tell you long since that Fergus wooed no bride but
Honour?' answered Flora.
'And am I then incapable of being his assistant and counsellor in
the pursuit of honour?' said our hero, colouring deeply. 'Do I
rank so low in your opinion?'
'Far from it, Captain Waverley. I would to God you were of our
determination! and made use of the expression which displeased
Because you are not of our quality,
But stand against us as an enemy.'
'That time is past, sister,' said Fergus; 'and you may wish
Edward Waverley (no longer captain) joy of being freed from the
slavery to an usurper, implied in that sable and ill-omened
'Yes,' said Waverley, undoing the cockade from his hat, 'it has
pleased the king who bestowed this badge upon me to resume it in a
manner which leaves me little reason to regret his service.'
'Thank God for that!' cried the enthusiast; 'and O that they may
be blind enough to treat every man of honour who serves them with
the same indignity, that I may have less to sigh for when the
'And now, sister,' said the Chieftain, 'replace his cockade with
one of a more lively colour. I think it was the fashion of the
ladies of yore to arm and send forth their knights to high
'Not,' replied the lady, 'till the knight adventurer had well
weighed the justice and the danger of the cause, Fergus. Mr.
Waverley is just now too much agitated by feelings of recent
emotion for me to press upon him a resolution of consequence.'
Waverley felt half alarmed at the thought of adopting the badge
what was by the majority of the kingdom esteemed rebellion, yet he
could not disguise his chagrin at the coldness with which Flora
parried her brother's hint. 'Miss Mac-Ivor, I perceive, thinks the
knight unworthy of her encouragement and favour,' said he,
'Not so, Mr. Waverley,' she replied, with great sweetness. 'Why
should I refuse my brother's valued friend a boon which I am
distributing to his whole clan? Most willingly would I enlist
every man of honour in the cause to which my brother has devoted
himself. But Fergus has taken his measures with his eyes open. His
life has been devoted to this cause from his cradle; with him its
call is sacred, were it even a summons to the tomb. But how can I
wish you, Mr. Waverley, so new to the world, so far from every
friend who might advise and ought to influence you,—in a moment,
too, of sudden pique and indignation,—how can I wish you to
plunge yourself at once into so desperate an enterprise?'
Fergus, who did not understand these delicacies, strode through
the apartment biting his lip, and then, with a constrained smile,
said, 'Well, sister, I leave you to act your new character of
mediator between the Elector of Hanover and the subjects of your
lawful sovereign and benefactor,' and left the room.
There was a painful pause, which was at length broken by Miss
Mac-Ivor. 'My brother is unjust,' she said, 'because he can bear no
interruption that seems to thwart his loyal zeal.'
'And do you not share his ardour?' asked Waverley,
'Do I not?' answered Flora. 'God knows mine exceeds his, if that
be possible. But I am not, like him, rapt by the bustle of
military preparation, and the infinite detail necessary to the
present undertaking, beyond consideration of the grand principles
of justice and truth, on which our enterprise is grounded; and
these, I am certain, can only be furthered by measures in
themselves true and just. To operate upon your present feelings,
my dear Mr. Waverley, to induce you to an irretrievable step, of
which you have not considered either the justice or the danger,
is, in my poor judgment, neither the one nor the other.'
'Incomparable Flora!' said Edward, taking her hand, 'how much do
need such a monitor!'
'A better one by far,' said Flora, gently withdrawing her hand,
'Mr. Waverley will always find in his own bosom, when he will give
its small still voice leisure to be heard.'
'No, Miss Mac-Ivor, I dare not hope it; a thousand circumstances
of fatal self-indulgence have made me the creature rather of
imagination than reason. Durst I but hope—could I but think—that
you would deign to be to me that affectionate, that condescending
friend, who would strengthen me to redeem my errors, my future
'Hush, my dear sir! now you carry your joy at escaping the hands
of a Jacobite recruiting officer to an unparalleled excess of
'Nay, dear Flora, trifle with me no longer; you cannot mistake
meaning of those feelings which I have almost involuntarily
expressed; and since I have broken the barrier of silence, let me
profit by my audacity. Or may I, with your permission, mention to
'Not for the world, Mr. Waverley!'
'What am I to understand?' said Edward. 'Is there any fatal
bar—has any prepossession—'
'None, sir,' answered Flora. 'I owe it to myself to say that I
never yet saw the person on whom I thought with reference to the
'The shortness of our acquaintance, perhaps—If Miss Mac-Ivor
deign to give me time—'
'I have not even that excuse. Captain Waverley's character is so
open—is, in short, of that nature that it cannot be misconstrued,
either in its strength or its weakness.'
'And for that weakness you despise me?' said Edward.
'Forgive me, Mr. Waverley—and remember it is but within this
hour that there existed between us a barrier of a nature to me
insurmountable, since I never could think of an officer in the
service of the Elector of Hanover in any other light than as a
casual acquaintance. Permit me then to arrange my ideas upon so
unexpected a topic, and in less than an hour I will be ready to
give you such reasons for the resolution I shall express as may be
satisfactory at least, if not pleasing to you.' So saying Flora
withdrew, leaving Waverley to meditate upon the manner in which
she had received his addresses.
Ere he could make up his mind whether to believe his suit had
acceptable or no, Fergus re-entered the apartment. 'What, a la
mort, Waverley?' he cried. 'Come down with me to the court, and
you shall see a sight worth all the tirades of your romances. An
hundred firelocks, my friend, and as many broadswords, just
arrived from good friends; and two or three hundred stout fellows
almost fighting which shall first possess them. But let me look at
you closer. Why, a true Highlander would say you had been blighted
by an evil eye. Or can it be this silly girl that has thus blanked
your spirit. Never mind her, dear Edward; the wisest of her sex
are fools in what regards the business of life.'
'Indeed, my good friend,' answered Waverley, 'all that I can
charge against your sister is, that she is too sensible, too
'If that be all, I ensure you for a louis-d'or against the mood
lasting four-and-twenty hours. No woman was ever steadily sensible
for that period; and I will engage, if that will please you, Flora
shall be as unreasonable to-morrow as any of her sex. You must
learn, my dear Edward, to consider women en mousquetaire.' So
saying, he seized Waverley's arm and dragged him off to review his