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Chapter 26
An Eclaircissement
The hint which the Chieftain had thrown out respecting Flora was not unpremeditated. He
had observed with great satisfaction the growing attachment of Waverley to his sister, nor
did he see any bar to their union, excepting the situation which Waverley's father held in
the ministry, and Edward's own commission in the army of George II. These obstacles
were now removed, and in a manner which apparently paved the way for the son's
becoming reconciled to another allegiance. In every other respect the match would be
most eligible. The safety, happiness, and honourable provision of his sister, whom he
dearly loved, appeared to be ensured by the proposed union; and his heart swelled when
he considered how his own interest would be exalted in the eyes of the ex-monarch to
whom he had dedicated his service, by an alliance with one of those ancient, powerful,
and wealthy English families of the steady Cavalier faith, to awaken whose decayed
attachment to the Stuart family was now a matter of such vital importance to the Stuart
cause. Nor could Fergus perceive any obstacle to such a scheme. Waverley's attachment
was evident; and as his person was handsome, and his taste apparently coincided with her
own, he anticipated no opposition on the part of Flora. Indeed, between his ideas of
patriarchal power, and those which he had acquired in France respecting the disposal of
females in marriage, any opposition from his sister, dear as she was to him, would have
been the last obstacle on which he would have calculated, even had the union been less
Influenced by these feelings, the Chief now led Waverley in quest of Miss Mac-Ivor, not
without the hope that the present agitation of his guest's spirits might give him courage to
cut short what Fergus termed the romance of the courtship. They found Flora, with her
faithful attendants, Una and Cathleen, busied in preparing what appeared to Waverley to
be white bridal favours. Disguising as well as he could the agitation of his mind,
Waverley asked for what joyful occasion Miss Mac-Ivor made such ample preparation.
'It is for Fergus's bridal,' she said, smiling.
'Indeed!' said Edward; 'he has kept his secret well. I hope he will allow me to be his
'That is a man's office, but not yours, as Beatrice says,' retorted Flora.
'And who is the fair lady, may I be permitted to ask, Miss Mac- Ivor?'
'Did not I tell you long since, that Fergus wooed no bride but Honour?' answered Flora.
'And am I then incapable of being his assistant and counsellor in the pursuit of honour?'
said our hero, colouring deeply. 'Do I rank so low in your opinion?'