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Chapter 23
Waverley Continues At Glennaquoich
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 theatrical air,--
'O Lady of the desert, hail!
That lov'st 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.--
O vous, qui buvez, a tasse pleine,
A cette heureuse fontaine,
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 crackbrained Italian romancers is it that says,
Io d'Elicona niente
Mi curo, in fe de Dio, che'il bere d'acque
(Bea chi ber ne vuol) sempre me spiacque!
[Good sooth, I reck not of your Helicon;
Drink water whoso will, in faith I will drink none.]