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The plan of this Edition leads me to insert in this place some account of the incidents on
which the Novel of WAVERLEY is founded. They have been already given to the public,
by my late lamented friend, William Erskine, Esq. (afterwards Lord Kinneder), when
reviewing the 'Tales of My Landlord' for the QUARTERLY REVIEW, in 1817. The
particulars were derived by the Critic from the Author's information. Afterwards they
were published in the Preface to the CHRONICLES OF THE CANONGATE. They are
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 those anecdotes which soften the features
even of civil war; and as it is equally honourable to the memory of both parties, we have
no hesitation to give their names at length. When the Highlanders, on the morning of the
battle of Preston, 1745, made their memorable attack on Sir John Cope's army, a battery
of four field-pieces was stormed and carried by the Camerons and the Stewarts of
Appine. The late Alexander Stewart of Invernahyle was one of the foremost in the
charge, and observing an officer of the King's forces, who, scorning to join the flight of
all around, remained with his sword in his hand, as if determined to the very last to
defend the post assigned to him, the Highland gentleman commanded him to surrender,
and received for reply a thrust, which he caught in his target. The officer was now
defenceless, and the battle-axe of a gigantic Highlander (the miller of Invernahyle's mill)
was uplifted to dash his brains out, when Mr. Stewart with difficulty prevailed 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
gentleman of high character and influence, and warmly attached to the House of
Hanover; yet such was the confidence existing between these two honourable men,
though of different political principles, that while the civil war was raging, and straggling
officers from the Highland army were executed without mercy, Invernahyle hesitated not
to pay his late captive a visit, as he returned to the Highlands to raise fresh recruits, on
which occasion he spent a day or two in Ayrshire among Colonel Whitefoord's Whig
friends, as pleasantly and as good-humouredly as if all had been at peace around him.
After the battle of Culloden had ruined the hopes of Charles Edward, and dispersed his
proscribed adherents, it was Colonel Whitefoord's turn to strain every nerve to obtain Mr.
Stewart's pardon. He went to the Lord Justice-Clerk, to the Lord-Advocate, and to all the
officers of state, and each application was answered by the production of a list, in which
Invernahyle (as the good old gentleman was wont to express it) appeared 'marked with
the sign of the beast!' as a subject unfit for favour or pardon.
At length Colonel Whitefoord applied to the Duke of Cumberland in person. From him,
also, he received a positive refusal. He then limited his request, for the present, to a
protection for Stewart's house, wife, children, and property. This was also refused by the
Duke; on which Colonel Whitefoord, taking his commission from his bosom, laid it on