Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font  

Waverley; Or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since

Walter Scott

  Produced by An Anonymous Volunteer and David Widger






  Characters that were in italics in the printed text have been written incapital letters in this Etext. Accents in quotations in French and otheraccented languages have been omitted.

  Footnotes in the printed text that were at the bottom of the page havebeen placed in square brackets, as near as possible to the place wherethey were originally referred to by a suffix.

  Numbered notes at the end of the book are referred to by the insertionof references to those notes in square brackets.]

  Under which King, Bezonian? speak, or die! Henry IV, Part II.


  The plan of this Edition leads me to insert in this place some accountof the incidents on which the Novel of WAVERLEY is founded. They havebeen already given to the public, by my late lamented friend, WilliamErskine, Esq. (afterwards Lord Kinneder), when reviewing the 'Tales ofMy Landlord' for the QUARTERLY REVIEW, in 1817. The particulars werederived by the Critic from the Author's information. Afterwards theywere published in the Preface to the CHRONICLES OF THE CANONGATE. Theyare now inserted in their proper place.

  The mutual protection afforded by Waverley and Talbot to each other,upon which the whole plot depends, is founded upon one of thoseanecdotes which soften the features even of civil war; and as it isequally honourable to the memory of both parties, we have no hesitationto give their names at length. When the Highlanders, on the morning ofthe battle of Preston, 1745, made their memorable attack on Sir JohnCope's army, a battery of four field-pieces was stormed and carried bythe Camerons and the Stewarts of Appine. The late Alexander Stewartof Invernahyle was one of the foremost in the charge, and observing anofficer of the King's forces, who, scorning to join the flight of allaround, remained with his sword in his hand, as if determined to thevery last to defend the post assigned to him, the Highland gentlemancommanded him to surrender, and received for reply a thrust, whichhe caught in his target. The officer was now defenceless, and thebattle-axe of a gigantic Highlander (the miller of Invernahyle's mill)was uplifted to dash his brains out, when Mr. Stewart with difficultyprevailed on him to yield. He took charge of his enemy's property,protected his person, and finally obtained him liberty on his parole.The officer proved to be Colonel Whitefoord, an Ayrshire gentlemanof high character and influence, and warmly attached to the Houseof Hanover; yet such was the confidence existing between these twohonourable men, though of different political principles, that whilethe civil war was raging, and straggling officers from the Highland armywere executed without mercy, Invernahyle hesitated not to pay hislate captive a visit, as he returned to the Highlands to raise freshrecruits, on which occasion he spent a day or two in Ayrshire amongColonel Whitefoord's Whig friends, as pleasantly and as good-humouredlyas if all had been at peace around him.

  After the battle of Culloden had ruined the hopes of Charles Edward, anddispersed his proscribed adherents, it was Colonel Whitefoord's turn tostrain every nerve to obtain Mr. Stewart's pardon. He went to the LordJustice-Clerk, to the Lord-Advocate, and to all the officers of state,and each application was answered by the production of a list, in whichInvernahyle (as the good old gentleman was wont to express it) appeared'marked with the sign of the beast!' as a subject unfit for favour orpardon.

  At length Colonel Whitefoord applied to the Duke of Cumberland inperson. From him, also, he received a positive refusal. He then limitedhis request, for the present, to a protection for Stewart's house, wife,children, and property. This was also refused by the Duke; on whichColonel Whitefoord, taking his commission from his bosom, laid it on thetable before his Royal Highness with much emotion, and asked permissionto retire from the service of a sovereign who did not know how to sparea vanquished enemy. The Duke was struck, and even affected. He bade theColonel take up his commission, and granted the protection he required.If was issued just in time to save the house, corn, and cattle atInvernahyle, from the troops who were engaged in laying waste what itwas the fashion to call 'the country of the enemy.' A small encampmentof soldiers was formed on Invernahyle's property, which they sparedwhile plundering the country around, and searching in every directionfor the leaders of the insurrection, and for Stewart in particular. Hewas much nearer them than they suspected; for, hidden in a cave (likethe Baron of Bradwardine), he lay for many days so near the Englishsentinels, that he could hear their muster-roll called, His food wasbrought to him by one of his daughters, a child of eight years old, whomMrs. Stewart was under the necessity of entrusting with this commission;for her own motions, and those of all her elder inmates, were closelywatched. With ingenuity beyond her years, the child used to stray aboutamong the soldiers, who were rather kind to her, and thus seize themoment when she was unobserved, and steal into the thicket, when shedeposited whatever small store of provisions she had in charge at somemarked spot, where her father might find it. Invernahyle supported lifefor several weeks by means of these precarious supplies; and as he hadbeen wounded in the battle of Culloden, the hardships which he enduredwere aggravated by great bodily pain. After the soldiers had removedtheir quarters, he had another remarkable escape.

  As he now ventured to his own house at night, and left it in themorning, he was espied during the dawn by a party of the enemy, whofired at and pursued him. The fugitive being fortunate enough to escapetheir search, they returned to the house, and charged the family withharbouring one of the proscribed traitors. An old woman had presenceof mind enough to maintain that the man they had seen was the shepherd.'Why did he not stop when we called to him?' said the soldier.--'Heis as deaf, poor man, as a peat-stack,' answered the ready-witteddomestic.--'Let him be sent for, directly.' The real shepherdaccordingly was brought from the hill, and as there was time to tutorhim by the way, he was as deaf when he made his appearance, as wasnecessary to sustain his character. Invernahyle was afterwards pardonedunder the Act of Indemnity.

  The Author knew him well, and has often heard these circumstancesfrom his own mouth. He was a noble specimen of the old Highlander, fardescended, gallant, courteous, and brave, even to chivalry. He had beenOUT, I believe, in 1715 and 1745; was an active partaker in all thestirring scenes which passed in the Highlands betwixt these memorableeras; and, I have heard, was remarkable, among other exploits, forhaving fought a duel with the broadsword with the celebrated Rob RoyMacGregor, at the Clachan of Balquhidder.

  Invernahyle chanced to be in Edinburgh when Paul Jones came into theFrith of Forth, and though then an old man, I saw him in arms, andheard him exult (to use his own words) in the prospect of 'drawing hisclaymore once more before he died.' In fact, on that memorable occasion,when the capital of Scotland was menaced by three trifling sloops orbrigs, scarce fit to have sacked a fishing village, he was the onlyman who seemed to propose a plan of resistance. He offered to themagistrates, if broadswords and dirks could be obtained, to find as manyHighlanders among the lower classes, as would cut off any boat's-crewwho might be sent into a town full of narrow and winding passages, inwhich they were like to disperse in quest of plunder. I know not ifhis plan was attended to; I rather think it seemed too hazardous to theconstituted authorities, who might not, even at that time, desire tosee arms in Highland hands. A steady and powerful west wind settled thematter, by sweeping Paul Jones and his vessels out of the Frith.

  If there is something degrading in this recollection, it is notunpleasant to compare it with those of the last war, when Edinburgh,besides regular forces and militia, furnis
hed a volunteer brigade ofcavalry, infantry, and artillery, to the amount of six thousand men andupwards, which was in readiness to meet and repel a force of a far moreformidable description than was commanded by the adventurous American.Time and circumstances change the character of nations and the fateof cities; and it is some pride to a Scotchman to reflect, that theindependent and manly character of a country willing to entrust its ownprotection to the arms of its children, after having been obscured forhalf a century, has, during the course of his own lifetime, recoveredits lustre.

  Other illustrations of Waverley will be found in the Notes at the footof the pages to which they belong. [In this etext they are embedded inthe text in square brackets.] Those which appeared too long to be soplaced are given at the end of the volume.