Walter Scott.

Waverley, or, 'tis sixty years since : With steel plates from designs by George Cruikshank, J. M. W. Turner, and D. Maclise online

. (page 38 of 46)
Online LibraryWalter ScottWaverley, or, 'tis sixty years since : With steel plates from designs by George Cruikshank, J. M. W. Turner, and D. Maclise → online text (page 38 of 46)
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with which it was her pride to decorate it, and which had been
hurled from the bartizan : several of her books were mingled with
broken flower-pots and other remnants. Among these, Waverley
distinguished one of his own, a small copy of Ariosto, and gathered
it as a treasure, though wasted by the wind and rain.

While, plunged in the sad reflections which the scene excited, he
was looking around for some one who might explain the fate of the
inhabitants, he heard a voice from the interior of the building sing-
ing, in well-remembered accents, an old Scottish song :

" They came upon us in the night,
And brake my bower and slew my knight :
My servants a' for life did flee,
And left js in extremitie.


They slew the knight, to me sac dear ;
They slew my knight, and drave his gear ; *
The moon may set, the sun may rise,
But a deadly sleep has closed his eyes."

" Alas ! " thought Edward, " thou ? Poor helpless being, art
thou alone left, to gibber and moan, and fill with thy wild and un-
connected scraps of minstrelsy the halls that protected thee?" — He
then called, first low, and then louder, " Davie — Davie Gellatley ! "
The poor simpleton showed himself from atnong the ruins of a
sort of green-house, that once terminated what was called the Ter-
race-walk, but at first sight of a stranger retreated, as if in ten-or.
Waverley, remembering his habits, began to whistle a tune to
which he was partial, which Davie had expressed great pleasure in
listening to, and had picked up from him by the ear. Our hero's
minstrelsy no more equalled that of Blondel, than poor Davie
resembled Coeur de Lion ; but the melody had the same effect of
producing recognition. Davie again stole from his lurking-place,
but timidly, while Waverley, afraid of frightening him, stood making
the most encouraging signals he could devise. — " It's his ghaist,"
muttered Davie ; yet, coming nearer, he seemed to acknowledge
his living acquaintance. The poor fool himself appeared the ghost
of what he had been. The peculiar dress in which he had been
attired in better days, showed only miserable rags of its whimsical
finery, the lack of which was oddly supplied by the remnants of
tapestried hangings, window-curtains, and shreds of pictures, with
which he had bedizened his tatters. His face, too, had lost its
vacant and careless air, and the poor creature looked hollow-eyed,
meagre, half-starved, and nervous to a pitiable degree. After long
hesitation, he at length approached Waverley with some confidence,
stared him sadly in the face, and said, " A' dead and gane— a' dead
and gane ! "

" Who are dead ? " said Waverley, forgetting the incapacity of
Davie to hold any connected discourse.

"Baron — and Bailie— and Saunders Saunderson — and Lady
Rose, that sang sae sweet — A' dead and gane — dead and gane 1

But follow, follow me.

While glow-worms light the lea,

I'll show you where the dead should be —
Each in his shroud,
While winds pipe loud.
And the red moon peeps dim through the cloud.

Follow, follow me ;

Brave should he be

That treads by night the dead man's lea."
With these words, chanted in a wild and earnest tone, he made



a sign to Waverley to follow him, and walked rapidly towards the
bottom of the garden, tracing the bank of the stream, which it may
be remembered, was its eastern boundary. Edward, over whom an
involuntary shuddering stole at the import of his words, followed
him in some hope of an explanation. As the house was evidently
deserted, he could not expect to find among the ruins any more
rational informer.

Davie, walking very fast, soon reached the extremity of the
garden, and scrambled over the ruins of the wall that once had
divided it from the wooded glen in which the old tower of TuUy-
Veolan was situated. He then jumped down into the bed of the
stream, and, followed by Waverley, proceeded at a great pace,
climbing over some fragments of rock, and turning with difficulty
round others. They passed beneath the ruins of the castle ;
Waverley followed, keeping up with his guide with difficulty, ^f or
the twilight began to fall. Following the descent of the stream a
little lower, he totally lost him, but a twinkling light, which he now
discovered among the tangled copse wood and bushes, seemed a
surer guide. He soon pursued a verj' uncouth path ; and by its
guidance at length reached the door of a wretched hut. A fierce
barking of dogs was at first heard, but it stilled at his approach.
A voice sounded from within, and he held it most prudent to listen
before he advanced.

" Wha hast thou brought here, thou unsonsy villain, thou ? " said
an old woman, apparently in great indignation. He heard Davie
Gellatley, in answer, whistle a part of the tune by which he had
recalled himself to the simpleton's memory, and had now no
hesitation to knock at the door. There was a dead silence instantly
within, except the deep growling cf the dogs ; and he next heard
the mistress of the hut approach the door, not probably for the
sake of undoing a latch, but of fastening a bolt. To prevent this,
Waverley lifted the latch himself.

In front was an old wretched-looking woman, exclaiming, " Wha
comes into folk's houses in this gate, at this time o' the nicht ? "
On one side, two grim and half-starved deer greyhounds laid aside
their ferocity at his appearance, and seemed to recognise him. On
the other side, half concealed by the open door, yet apparently
seeking that concealment reluctantly, with a cocked pistol in his
right hand, and his left in the act of drawing another from his belt,
stood a tall bony gaunt figure in the remnants of a faded uniform,
and a beard of three weeks' growth.

It was the Baron of Bradwardine. — It is unnecessary to add, that
he threw aside his weapon, and greeted Waverley with a hearty





The Baron's story was short, when divested of the adages and
commonplaces, Latin, EngHsh, and Scotch, with which his eru-
dition garnished it. He insisted much upon his grief at the loss of
Edward and of Glennaquoich, fought the fields of Falkirk and
CuUoden, and related how, after all was lost in the last battle, he
had returned home, under the idea of more easily finding shelter
among his own tenants, and on his own estate, than elsewhere. A
party of soldiers had been sent to lay waste his property, for
clemency was not the order of the day. Their proceedings, how-
ever, were checked by an order from the civil court. The estate, it
was found, might not be forfeited to the crown, to the prejudice of
Malcolm Bradwardine of Inch-Grabbit, the heir-male, whose claim
could not be prejudiced by the Baron's attainder, as deriving no
right through him, and who, therefore, like other heirs of entail in
the same situation, entered upon possession. But, unlike many in
similar circumstances, the new laird speedily showed that he
intended utterly to exclude his predecessor from all benefit or
advantage in the estate, and that it was his purpose to avail him-
self of the old Baron's evil fortune to the full extent. This was the
more ungenerous, as it was generally known, that, from a romantic
idea of not prejudicing this young man's right as heir-male, the
Baron had refrained from settling his estate on his daughter. :

This selfish injustice was resented by the country people, who
were partial to their old master, and irritated against his successor.
In the Baron's own words, " The matter did not coincide with the
feelings of the commons of Bradwardine, Mr. Waverley ; and the
tenants were slack and repugnant in payment of their mails and
duties ; and when my kinsman came to the village wi' the new
factor, Mr. James Howie, to lift the rents, some wanchancy person
— I suspect John Heatherblutter, the auld gamekeeper, that was
out wi' me in the year fifteen — fired a shot at him in the gloaming,
whereby he was so affrighted, that I may say with Tullius in
Catilinam, Abiit, evasit, erupit, effugit. He fled, sir, as one may
say, incontinent to Stirling. And now he hath advertised the
estate for sale, being himself the last substitute in the entail.^And
if I were to lament about sic matters, this would grieve me mair
than its passing from my immediate possession, whilk, by the
course of nature, must have happened in a few years. Whereas
now it passes from the lineage that should have possessed it in
sacula^ saculortim. But God's will be done, humana ■[terpessi


sumus. Sir John of Bradwardine— Black Sir Jolm, as he is called
— who was the common ancestor of our house and the Inch-
Grabbits, little thought such a person would have sprung from his
loins. Meantime, he has accused me to some of tht j>rimates, the
rulers for the time, as if I were a cut-throat, and an abettor of
bravoes and assassinates, and coupe-jarrets. And they have sent
soldiers here to abide on the estate, and hunt me like a partridge
upon the mountains, as Scripture says of good King David, or like
our valiant Sir William Wallace,— not that I bring myself into
■comparison with either. — I thought, when I heard you at the door,
they had driven the auld deer to his den at last ; and so I e'en
proposed to die at bay, like a buck of the first head. — But now,
Janet, canna ye gie us something for supper ? "

" Ou ay, sir, I'll brander the moor-fowl that John Heatherblutter
brought in this morning ; and ye see puir Davie's roasting the
black hen's eggs. — I daur say, Mr. Wauverley, ye never kend that
a' the eggs that were sae weel roasted at supper in the Ha'-house
were aye turned by our Davie ? — there's no the like o' him ouy gate
for powtering wi' his fingers amang the het peat-ashes, and roasting
eggs." Davie all this while lay with his nose almost in the fire,
nuzzling among the ashes, kicking his heels, mumbling to himself,
turning the eggs as they lay in the hot embers, as if to confute the
proverb, that " there goes reason to roasting of eggs," and justify
the eulogium which poor Janet poured out upon

" Him whom she loved, her idiot boy."

" Davie's no sae silly as folk tak him for, Mr. Wauverley ; he
wadna hae brought you here unless he had kend ye was a friend to
his Honour — indeed the very dogs kend ye, Mr. Wauverley, for ye
was aye kind to beast and body. — I can tell you a story o' Davie,
wi' his Honour's leave : His Honour, ye see, being under hiding in
thae sair times — the mair's the pity — he lies a' day, and whiles a'
night, in the cove in the dern hag ; but though it's a bieldy eneugh
bit, and the auld gudeman o' Corse-Cleugh has panged it wi' a
kemple o' strae amaist, yet when the country's quiet, and the night
very cauld, his Honour whiles creeps doun here to get a warm at
the ingle, and a sleep amang the blankets, and gangs awa in the"
morning. And so, ae morning, siccan a fright as I got ! Twa
unlucky red-coats were up for black-fishing, or some siccan ploy—
for the neb o' them's never out o' mischief— and they just got a
glisk o' his Honour as he gaed into the wood, and banged aff a
gun at him. I out like a jer-falcon, and cried,—' Wad they shoot
an honest woman's* poor innocent bairn ? ' And I fleyt at them,
and threepit it was my son ; and they damned and swuir at m^


that it was the auld rebel, as the villains ca'd his Honour ; and
Davie was in the wood, and heard the tuilzie, and he, just out o' his
ain head, got up the auld grey mantle that his Honour had flung
off him to gang the faster, and he cam out o' the very same bit o'
the wood, majoring and looking about sae like his Honour, that
they were clean beguiled, and thought they had letten aff their gun
at crack-brained Sawney, as they ca' him ; and they gae me sax-
pence, and twa saumon fish, to say naething about it. — Na, na ;
Davie's no just like other folk, puir fallow ; but he's no sae silly as
folk tak him for. — But, to be sure, how can we do eneugh for his
Honour, when we and ours have lived on his ground this twa
hundred years ; and when he keepit my puir Jamie at school and
college, and even at the Ha'-house, till he gaed to a better place ;
and when he saVed me frae being ta'en to Perth as a witch — Lord
forgi'e them that would touch sic a puir silly auld body ! — and has
maintained puir Davie at heck and manger maist feck o' his life?"

Waverley at length found an opportunity to interrupt Janet's
narrative, by an inquiry after Miss Bradwardine.

" She's weel and safe, thank God ! at the Duchran," answered
the Baron : " the laird's distantly related to us, and more nearly to
my chaplain, Mr. Kubrick ; and, though he be of Whig principles,
yet he's not forgetful of auld friendship at this time. The Bailie's
doing what he can to save something out of the wreck for puir
Rose ; but I doubt, I doubt, I shall never see her again, for I maun
lay my banes in some far country."

" Hout na, your Honour," said old Janet ; " ye were just as ill aff
in the feifteen, and got the bonnie baronie back, an' a'. — And now
the eggs is ready, and the muir-cock's brandered, and there's ilk
ane a trencher and some saut, and the heel o' the white loaf that
cam frae the Bailie's ; and there's plenty o' brandy in the greybeard
that Luckie Maclearie sent doun ; and winna ye be suppered like
princes ? "

" I wish one Prince, at least, of our acquaintance, may be no
worse off," said the Baron to Waverley, who joined him in cordial
hopes for the safety of the unfortunate Chevalier.

They then began to talk of their future prospects. The Baron's
plan was very simple. It was, to escape to France, where, by the
interest of his old friends, he hoped to get some military employ-
ment, of which he still conceived himself capable. He invited
Waverley to go with him, a proposal in which he acquiesced,
providing the interest of Colonel Talbot should fail in procuring his
pardon. Tacitly he hoped the Baron would sanction his addresses
to Rose, and give him a right to assist him in his exile ; but he
forbore to speak on this subject until his own fate should be


decided. They then talked of Glennaquoich, for whom the Baron
expressed great anxiety, although, he observed, he was " the very
Achilles of Horatius Flaccus, —

Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer.

Which," he continued, " has been thus rendered (vernacularly) by
Struan Robertson :

A fiery etter-cap, a fractious chiel,

As het as ginger, and as stieve as steel."

Flora had a large and unqualified share of the good old man's

It was now wearing late. Old Janet got into some kind of
kennel behind the hallan ; Davie had been long asleep and snoring
between Ban and Buscar. These dogs had followed him to the
hut after the mansion-house was deserted, and there constantly
resided ; and their ferocity, with the old woman's reputation of
being a witch, contributed a good deal to keep visitors from the
glen. With this view, Bailie Macwheeble provided Janet under-
hand with meal for their maintenance, and also with little articles
of luxury for his patron's use, in supplying which much precaution
was necessarily used. After some compliments, the Baron occu-
pied his usual couch, and Waverley reclined in an easy chair of
tattered velvet, which had once garnished the state bed-room of
TuUy-Veolan (for the furniture of this mansion was now scattered
through all the cottages in the vicinity), and went to sleep as com-
fortably as if he had been in a bed of down.



With the first dawn of day, old Janet was scuttling about the
house to wake the Baron, who usually slept sound and heavily.

" I must go back," he said to Waverley, "to my cove : will you
walk down the glen wi' me ? "

They went out together, and followed a narrow and entangled
foot-path, which the occasional passage of anglers, or wood-cutters,
had traced by the side of the stream. On their way, the Baron
explained to Waverley, that he would be under no danger in
remaining a day or two at Tally- Veolan, and even in being seen
walking about, if he used the precaution of pretending that he was
lookmg at the estate as agent or surveyor for an English gentle-
man, who designed to be purchaser. With this view, he reconii.


mended to him to visit the Bailie, who still lived at the factor's
house, called Little Veolan, about a mile from the village, though
he was to remove at next term. Stanley's passport would be an
answer to the officer who commanded the military ; and as to any
of the country people who might recognise Waverley, the Baron
assured him that he was in no danger of being betrayed by them.

" I beheve," said the old man, " half the people of the barony
know that their poor auld laird is somewhere hereabout ; for I see
they do not suffer a single bairn to come here a bird-nesting ; a
practice whilk, when I was in full possession of my power as baron,
I was unable totally to inhibit. Nay, I often find bits of things in
my way, that the poor bodies, God help them ! leave there, because
theylhink they may be useful to me. I hope they will get a wiser
master, and as kind a one as I was."

A natural sigh closed the sentence ; but the quiet equanimity
with which the Baron endured his misfortunes, had something in
it venerable, and even sublime. There was no fruitless repining,
no turbid melancholy ; he bore his lot, and the hardships which it
involved, with a good-humoured, though serious composure, and
used no violent language against the prevailing party.

" I did what I thought my duty," said the good old man, " and
questionless they are doing what they think theirs. It grieves me
sometimes to look upon these blackened walls of the house of my
ancestors ; but doubtless officers cannot always keep the soldiers
hand from depredation and spuilzie ; and Gustavus Adolphus him-
self, as ye may read in Colonel Munro his Expedition with the
worthy Scotch regiment called Mackay's regiment, did often permit
it. — Indeed I have myself seen as sad sights as TuUy- Veolan now
is, when I served with the Mareschal Duke of Berwick. To be
sure, we may say with Virgilius Maro, Fuimus Troes — and there's
the end of an auld sang. But houses an'fl families and men have a'
stood lang eneugh when they have stood till they fall with honour ;
and now I hae gotten a house that is not unlike a domus ultima "
— they were now standing below a steep rock. "We poor
Jacobites," continued the Baron, looking up, " are now like the
conies in Holy Scripture (which the great traveller Pococke calleth
Jerboa), a feeble people, that make our abode in the rocks. So,
fare you well, my good lad, till we meet at Janet's in the even ; for
I must get into my Patmos, which is no easy matter for my auld
stiff limbs.

With that he began to ascend the rock, striding, with the help of
his haaids, from one precarious footstep to another, till he got about
halfway up, where two or three bushes concealed the mouth of a
hole, resembling an oven, into which the Baron insinuated, first his


head and shoulders, and then, by slow gradation, the rest of his
long body; his legs and feet finally disappearing, coiled up like
a huge snake entering his retreat, or a long pedigree introduced .
with care and difficulty into the narrow pigeon-hole of an old
cabinet. Waverley had the curiosity to clamber up and look in
upon him in his den, as the lurking-place might well be termed.
Upon the whole, he looked not unlike that ingenious puzzle, called
a reel in a bottle, the marvel of children (and of some grown people
too, myself for one), who can neither comprehend the mystery how
it has got in, or how it is to be taken out. The cave was very
narrow, too low in the roof to admit of his standing, or almost of
his sitting up, though he made some awkward attempts at the
latter posture. His sole amusement was the perusal of his old
friend Titus Livius, varied by occasionally scratching Latin
proverbs and texts of Scripture with his knife on the roof and walls
of his fortalice, which were of sand-stone. As the cave was dry,
and filled with clean straw and withered fern, " it made," as he
said, coiling himself up with an air of snugness and comfort which
contrasted strangely with his situation, " unless when the wind was
due north, a very passable gite for an old soldier." Neither, as he
observed, was he without sentries for the purpose of reconnoitring.
Davie and his mother were constantly on the watch, to discover
and avert danger ; and it was singular what instances of address
seemed dictated by the instinctive attachment of the poor simpleton,
when his patron's safety was concerned.

With Janet, Edward now sought an interview. He had recog-
nised her at first sight as the old woman who had nursed him
during his sickness after his delivery from Gifted GilfiUan. The
hut, also, though a little repaired, and somewhat better furnished,
was certainly the place of his confinement ; and he now recollected
on the common moor of TuUy-Veolan the trunk of a large decayed
tree, called the trysting-tree, which he had no doubt was the same
at which the Highlanders rendezvoused on that memorable night.
All this he had combined in his imagination the night before ; but
reasons, which may probably occur to the reader, prevented him
from catechising Janet in the presence of the Baron.

He now commenced the task in good earnest ; and the first
question was. Who was the young lady that visited the hut during
his illness ? Janet paused for a little ; and then observed, that to
keep the secret now would neither do good nor iU to anybody.

" It was just a leddy that hasna her equal in the world — Miss
Rose Bradwardine."

"Then Miss Rose was probably also the author of ray
dehverance," inferred Waverley, delighted at the confirmation of


an idea which local circumstances had already induced him to

" I wot wee], Mr. Wauverley, and that was she e'en ; but sair,
sair angry and affronted wad "she hae been, puir thing, if she had
thought he had been ever to ken a word about the matter; for she
gar'd me speak aye Gaelic when ye was in hearing, to mak ye
trow we were in the Hielands. I can speak it weil eneugh, for my
mother was a Hieland woman."

A few more questions now brought out the whole mystery
respecting Waverley's deliverance from the bondage in which he
left Cairnvreckan. Never did music sound sweeter to an amateur,
than the drowsy tautology, with which old Janet detailed every
circumstance, thrilled upon the ears of Waverley. But my reader
is not a lover, and I must spare his patience, by attempting to •
condense within reasonable compass the narrative which old Janet
spread through a harangue of nearly two hours.

When Waverley communicated to Fergus the letter he had
received from Rose Bradwardine, by Davie Gellatley, giving an
account of TuUy-Veolan being ocflupied by a small party of soldiers,
that circumstance had struck upon the busy and active mind of the
Chieftain. Eager to distress and narrow the posts of the enemy,
desirous to prevent their establishing a garrison so near him, and
willing also to oblige the Baron, — for he often had the idea of
marriage with Rose floating through his brain, — he resolved to send
some of his people to drive out the red-coats, and to bring Rose to
Glennaquoich. But just as he had ordered Evan with a small
party on this duty, the news of Cope's having marched into the
Highlands to meet and disperse the forces of the Chevalier ere
they came to a head, obliged him to join the standard with his
whole forces.

He sent to order Donald Bean to attend hirii ; but that cautious
freebooter, who well understood the value of a separate command,
instead of joining, sent various apologies which the pressure of the
times compelled Fergus to admit as current, though not without
the internal resolution of being revenged on him for his procrasti-
nation, time and place convenient. However, as he could not
amend the matter, he issued orders to Donald to descend into the
Low Country, drive the soldiers from Ttilly-Veolan, and, paying all
respect to the mansion of the Baron, to take his abode somewhere
near it, for protection of his daughter and family, and to harass
and drive away any of the armed volunteers, or small parties of
military, which he might find moving about the vicinity.

As this charge formed a sort of roving commission, ijvhich
Donald proposed to interpret in the way most advantageous to


himself, as he was relieved from the immediate terrors of Fergus,

Online LibraryWalter ScottWaverley, or, 'tis sixty years since : With steel plates from designs by George Cruikshank, J. M. W. Turner, and D. Maclise → online text (page 38 of 46)