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Chapter 25
News From England
The letters which Waverley had hitherto received from his relations in England, were not
such as required any particular notice in this narrative. His father usually wrote to him
with the pompous affectation of one who was too much oppressed by public affairs to
find leisure to attend to those of his own family. Now and then he mentioned persons of
rank in Scotland to whom he wished his son should pay some attention; but Waverley,
hitherto occupied by the amusements which he had found at Tully- Veolan and
Glennaquoich, dispensed with paying any attention to hints so coldly thrown out,
especially as distance, shortness of leave of absence, and so forth, furnished a ready
apology. But latterly the burden of Mr. Richard Waverley's paternal epistles consisted in
certain mysterious hints of greatness and influence which he was speedily to attain, and
which would ensure his son's obtaining the most rapid promotion, should he remain in the
military service. Sir Everard's letters were of a different tenor. They were short; for the
good Baronet was none of your illimitable correspondents, whose manuscript overflows
the folds of their large post paper, and leaves no room for the seal; but they were kind and
affectionate, and seldom concluded without some allusion to our hero's stud, some
question about the state of his purse, and a special inquiry after such of his recruits as had
preceded him from Waverley-Honour. Aunt Rachel charged him to remember his
principles of religion, to take care of his health, to beware of Scotch mists, which, she had
heard, would wet an Englishman through and through; never to go out at night without
his great-coat; and, above all, to wear flannel next to his skin.
Mr. Pembroke only wrote to our hero one letter, but it was of the bulk of six epistles of
these degenerate days, containing, in the moderate compass of ten folio pages, closely
written, a precis of a supplementary quarto manuscript of ADDENDA, DELENDA, ET
CORRIGENDA, in reference to the two tracts with which he had presented Waverley.
This he considered as a mere sop in the pan to stay the appetite of Edward's curiosity,
until he should find an opportunity of sending down the volume itself, which was much
too heavy for the post, and which he proposed to accompany with certain interesting
pamphlets, lately published by his friend in Little Britain, with whom he had kept up a
sort of literary correspondence, in virtue of which the library shelves of Waverley-
Honour were loaded with much trash, and a good round bill, seldom summed in fewer
than three figures, was yearly transmitted, in which Sir Everard Waverley, of Waverley-
Honour, Bart., was marked Dr. to Jonathan Grubbet, bookseller and stationer, Little
Britain. Such had hitherto been the style of the letters which Edward had received from
England; but the packet delivered to him at Glennaquoich was of a different and more
interesting complexion. It would be impossible for the reader, even were I to insert the
letters at full length, to comprehend the real cause of their being written, without a glance
into the interior of the British Cabinet at the period in question.
The Ministers of the day happened (no very singular event) to be divided into two parties;
the weakest of which, making up by assiduity of intrigue their inferiority in real