James of the Needle was a man of his word when whisky was no party
to the contract; and upon this occasion Callum Beg, who still
thought himself in Waverley's debt, since he had declined
accepting compensation at the expense of mine host of the
Candlestick's person, took the opportunity of discharging the
obligation, by mounting guard over the hereditary tailor of
Sliochd nan Ivor; and, as he expressed himself, 'targed him
tightly' till the finishing of the job. To rid himself of this
restraint, Shemus's needle flew through the tartan like lightning;
and as the artist kept chanting some dreadful skirmish of Fin
Macoul, he accomplished at least three stitches to the death of
every hero. The dress was, therefore, soon ready, for the short
coat fitted the wearer, and the rest of the apparel required
Our hero having now fairly assumed the 'garb of old Gaul,' well
calculated as it was to give an appearance of strength to a figure
which, though tall and well-made, was rather elegant than robust,
I hope my fair readers will excuse him if he looked at himself in
the mirror more than once, and could not help acknowledging that
the reflection seemed that of a very handsome young fellow. In
fact, there was no disguising it. His light-brown hair—for he
wore no periwig, notwithstanding the universal fashion of the
time—became the bonnet which surmounted it. His person promised
firmness and agility, to which the ample folds of the tartan added
an air of dignity. His blue eye seemed of that kind,
Which melted in love, and which kindled in war;
and an air of bashfulness, which was in reality the effect of
of habitual intercourse with the world, gave interest to his
features, without injuring their grace or intelligence.
'He's a pratty man, a very pratty man,' said Evan Dhu (now Ensign
Maccombich) to Fergus's buxom landlady.
'He's vera weel,' said the Widow Flockhart, 'but no naething sae
weel-far'd as your colonel, ensign.'
'I wasna comparing them,' quoth Evan, 'nor was I speaking about
his being weel-favoured; but only that Mr. Waverley looks
clean-made and deliver, and like a proper lad o' his quarters, that will
not cry barley in a brulzie. And, indeed, he's gleg aneuch at the
broadsword and target. I hae played wi' him mysell at
Glennaquoich, and sae has Vich lan Vohr, often of a Sunday
'Lord forgie ye, Ensign Maccombich,' said the alarmed
Presbyterian; 'I'm sure the colonel wad never do the like o'
'Hout! hout! Mrs. Flockhart,' replied the ensign, 'we're young
blude, ye ken; and young saints, auld deils.'
'But will ye fight wi' Sir John Cope the morn, Ensign
demanded Mrs. Flockhart of her guest.
'Troth I'se ensure him, an he'll bide us, Mrs. Flockhart,'
'And will ye face thae tearing chields, the dragoons, Ensign
Maccombich?' again inquired the landlady.
'Claw for claw, as Conan said to Satan, Mrs. Flockhart, and the
deevil tak the shortest nails.'
'And will the colonel venture on the bagganets himsell?'
'Ye may swear it, Mrs. Flockhart; the very first man will he be,
by Saint Phedar.'
'Merciful goodness! and if he's killed amang the redcoats!'
exclaimed the soft-hearted widow.
'Troth, if it should sae befall, Mrs. Flockhart, I ken ane that
will no be living to weep for him. But we maun a' live the day,
and have our dinner; and there's Vich lan Vohr has packed his
dorlach, and Mr. Waverley's wearied wi' majoring yonder afore the
muckle pier-glass; and that grey auld stoor carle, the Baron o'
Bradwardine that shot young Ronald of Ballenkeiroch, he's coming
down the close wi' that droghling coghling bailie body they ca'
Macwhupple, just like the Laird o' Kittlegab's French cook, wi'
his turnspit doggie trindling ahint him, and I am as hungry as a
gled, my bonny dow; sae bid Kate set on the broo', and do ye put
on your pinners, for ye ken Vich lan Vohr winna sit down till ye
be at the head o' the table;—and dinna forget the pint bottle o'
brandy, my woman.'
This hint produced dinner. Mrs. Flockhart, smiling in her weeds
like the sun through a mist, took the head of the table, thinking
within herself, perhaps, that she cared not how long the rebellion
lasted that brought her into company so much above her usual
associates. She was supported by Waverley and the Baron, with the
advantage of the Chieftain vis-a-vis. The men of peace and of war,
that is, Bailie Macwheeble and Ensign Maccombich, after many
profound conges to their superiors and each other, took their
places on each side of the Chieftain. Their fare was excellent,
time, place, and circumstances considered, and Fergus's spirits
were extravagantly high. Regardless of danger, and sanguine from
temper, youth, and ambition, he saw in imagination all his
prospects crowned with success, and was totally indifferent to the
probable alternative of a soldier's grave. The Baron apologized
slightly for bringing Macwheeble. They had been providing, he
said, for the expenses of the campaign. 'And, by my faith,' said
the old man, 'as I think this will be my last, so I just end where
I began: I hae evermore found the sinews of war, as a learned
author calls the caisse mttitaire, mair difficult to come by than
either its flesh, blood, or bones.'
'What! have you raised our only efficient body of cavalry and got
ye none of the louis-d'or out of the Doutelle [Footnote: The
Doutelle was an armed vessel which brought a small supply of money
and arms from France for the use of the insurgents.] to help
'No, Glennaquoich; cleverer fellows have been before me.'
'That's a scandal,' said the young Highlander; 'but you will
what is left of my subsidy; it will save you an anxious thought
tonight, and will be all one tomorrow, for we shall all be
provided for, one way or other, before the sun sets.' Waverley,
blushing deeply, but with great earnestness, pressed the same
'I thank ye baith, my good lads,' said the Baron, 'but I will not
infringe upon your peculium. Bailie Macwheeble has provided the
sum which is necessary.'
Here the Bailie shifted and fidgeted about in his seat, and
appeared extremely uneasy. At length, after several preliminary
hems, and much tautological expression of his devotion to his
honour's service, by night or day, living or dead, he began to
insinuate, 'that the banks had removed a' their ready cash into
the Castle; that, nae doubt, Sandie Goldie, the silversmith, would
do mickle for his honour; but there was little time to get the
wadset made out; and, doubtless, if his honour Glennaquoich or Mr.
Wauverley could accommodate—'
'Let me hear of no such nonsense, sir,' said the Baron, in a tone
which rendered Macwheeble mute, 'but proceed as we accorded before
dinner, if it be your wish to remain in my service.'
To this peremptory order the Bailie, though he felt as if
condemned to suffer a transfusion of blood from his own veins into
those of the Baron, did not presume to make any reply. After
fidgeting a little while longer, however, he addressed himself to
Glennaquoich, and told him, if his honour had mair ready siller
than was sufficient for his occasions in the field, he could put
it out at use for his honour in safe hands and at great profit at
At this proposal Fergus laughed heartily, and answered, when he
had recovered his breath—'Many thanks, Bailie; but you must know,
it is a general custom among us soldiers to make our landlady our
banker. Here, Mrs. Flockhart,' said he, taking four or five broad
pieces out of a well-filled purse and tossing the purse itself,
with its remaining contents, into her apron, 'these will serve my
occasions; do you take the rest. Be my banker if I live, and my
executor if I die; but take care to give something to the Highland
cailliachs [Footnote: Old women, on whom devolved the duty of
lamenting for the dead, which the Irish call keening.] that shall
cry the coronach loudest for the last Vich lan Vohr.'
'It is the testamentum militare,' quoth the Baron, 'whilk, amang
the Romans, was privilegiate to be nuncupative.' But the soft
heart of Mrs. Flockhart was melted within her at the Chieftain's
speech; she set up a lamentable blubbering, and positively refused
to touch the bequest, which Fergus was therefore obliged to
'Well, then,' said the Chief, 'if I fall, it will go to the
grenadier that knocks my brains out, and I shall take care he
works hard for it.'
Bailie Macwheeble was again tempted to put in his oar; for where
cash was concerned he did not willingly remain silent. 'Perhaps he
had better carry the gowd to Miss Mac-Ivor, in case of mortality
or accidents of war. It might tak the form of a mortis causa
donation in the young leddie's favour, and—wad cost but the
scrape of a pen to mak it out.'
'The young lady,' said Fergus,'should such an event happen, will
have other matters to think of than these wretched louis-d'or.'
'True—undeniable—there's nae doubt o' that; but your honour
that a full sorrow—'
'Is endurable by most folk more easily than a hungry one? True,
Bailie, very true; and I believe there may even be some who would
be consoled by such a reflection for the loss of the whole
existing generation. But there is a sorrow which knows neither
hunger nor thirst; and poor Flora—' He paused, and the whole
company sympathised in his emotion.
The Baron's thoughts naturally reverted to the unprotected state
of his daughter, and the big tear came to the veteran's eye. 'If I
fall, Macwheeble, you have all my papers and know all my affairs;
be just to Rose.'
The Bailie was a man of earthly mould, after all; a good deal of
dirt and dross about him, undoubtedly, but some kindly and just
feelings he had, especially where the Baron or his young mistress
were concerned. He set up a lamentable howl. 'If that doleful day
should come, while Duncan Macwheeble had a boddle it should be
Miss Rose's. He wald scroll for a plack the sheet or she kenn'd
what it was to want; if indeed a' the bonnie baronie o'
Bradwardine and Tully-Veolan, with the fortalice and manor-place
thereof (he kept sobbing and whining at every pause), tofts,
crofts, mosses, muirs—outfield,
infield—buildings—orchards—dove-cots—with the right of net and coble in the water and loch
of Veolan—teinds, parsonage and
vicarage—annexis, connexis—rights of pasturage—feul, feal and divot—parts, pendicles, and
pertinents whatsoever—(here he had recourse to the end of his
long cravat to wipe his eyes, which overflowed, in spite of him,
at the ideas which this technical jargon conjured up)—all as more
fully described in the proper evidents and titles thereof—and
lying within the parish of Bradwardine and the shire of Perth—if,
as aforesaid, they must a' pass from my master's child to
Inch-Grabbit, wha's a Whig and a Hanoverian, and be managed by his
doer, Jamie Howie, wha's no fit to be a birlieman, let be a
The beginning of this lamentation really had something affecting,
but the conclusion rendered laughter irresistible. 'Never mind,
Bailie,' said Ensign Maccombich, 'for the gude auld times of
rugging and riving (pulling and tearing) are come back again, an'
Sneckus Mac-Snackus (meaning, probably, annexis, connexis), and a'
the rest of your friends, maun gie place to the langest
'And that claymore shall be ours, Bailie,' said the Chieftain,
who saw that Macwheeble looked very blank at this intimation.
'We'll give them the metal our mountain affords,
Lillibulero, bullen a la,
And in place of broad-pieces, we'll pay with broadswords,
Lero, lero, etc.
With duns and with debts we will soon clear our score,
For the man that's thus paid will crave payment no more,
Lero, lero, etc.
[Footnote: These lines, or something like them, occur in an old
magazine of the period.]
But come, Bailie, be not cast down; drink your wine with a joyous
heart; the Baron shall return safe and victorious to Tully-Veolan,
and unite Killancureit's lairdship with his own, since the
cowardly half-bred swine will not turn out for the Prince like a
'To be sure, they lie maist ewest,' said the Bailie, wiping his
eyes, 'and should naturally fa' under the same factory.'
'And I,' proceeded the Chieftain,'shall take care of myself, too;
for you must know, I have to complete a good work here, by
bringing Mrs. Flockhart into the bosom of the Catholic church, or
at least half way, and that is to your Episcopal meeting-house. O
Baron! if you heard her fine counter-tenor admonishing Kate and
Matty in the morning, you, who understand music, would tremble at
the idea of hearing her shriek in the psalmody of Haddo's Hole.'
'Lord forgie you, colonel, how ye rin on! But I hope your honours
will tak tea before ye gang to the palace, and I maun gang and
mask it for you.'
So saying, Mrs. Flockhart left the gentlemen to their own
conversation, which, as might be supposed, turned chiefly upon the
approaching events of the campaign.