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Chapter 12
Repentance And A Reconciliation
Waverley was unaccustomed to the use of wine, excepting with great temperance. He
slept, therefore, soundly till late in the succeeding morning, and then awakened to a
painful recollection of the scene of the preceding evening. He had received a personal
affront,--he, a gentleman, a soldier, and a Waverley. True, the person who had offered it
was not, at the time it was given, possessed of the moderate share of sense which nature
had allotted him; true also, in resenting this insult, he would break the laws of Heaven, as
well as of his country; true, in doing so, he might take the life of a young man who
perhaps respectably discharged the social duties, and render his family miserable; or he
might lose his own;--no pleasant alternative even to the bravest, when it is debated coolly
and in private.
All this pressed on his mind; yet the original statement recurred with the same irresistible
force. He had received a personal insult; he was of the house of Waverley; and he bore a
commission. There was no alternative; and he descended to the breakfast parlour with the
intention of taking leave of the family, and writing to one of his brother officers to meet
him at the inn mid-way between Tully-Veolan and the town where they were quartered,
in order that he might convey such a message to the Laird of Balmawhapple as the
circumstances seemed to demand. He found Miss Bradwardine presiding over the tea and
coffee, the table loaded with warm bread, both of flour, oatmeal, and barley- meal, in the
shape of leaves, cakes, biscuits, and other varieties, together with eggs, reindeer ham,
mutton and beef, ditto, smoked salmon, marmalade, and all other delicacies which
induced even Johnson himself to extol the luxury of a Scotch breakfast above that of all
other countries. A mess of oatmeal porridge, flanked by a silver jug, which held an equal
mixture of cream and butter-milk, was placed for the Baron's share of this repast; but
Rose observed he had walked out early in the morning, after giving orders that his guest
should not be disturbed.
Waverley sat down almost in silence, and with an air of absence and abstraction, which
could not give Miss Bradwardine a favourable opinion of his talents for conversation. He
answered at random one or two observations which she ventured to make upon ordinary
topics; so that feeling herself almost repulsed in her efforts at entertaining him, and
secretly wondering that a scarlet coat should cover no better breeding, she left him to his
mental amusement of cursing Dr. Doubleit's favourite constellation of Ursa Major, as the
cause of all the mischief which had already happened, and was likely to ensue. At once
he started, and his colour heightened, as, looking toward the window, he beheld the
Baron and young Balmawhapple pass arm in arm, apparently in deep conversation; and
he hastily asked, 'Did Mr. Falconer sleep here last night?' Rose, not much pleased with
the abruptness of the first question which the young stranger had addressed to her,
answered drily in the negative, and the conversation again sank into silence.