« ПредишнаНапред »
that my worthy friend Malcolm did not know precisely the difference between French and Italian. One of his expressions in English was, “O God!
poor Scotland.” While they were in the hut, M-Kenzie and M‘Friar, the two boatmen, were placed as sentinels upon different eminences; and one day an incident happened, which must not be omitted. There was a man wandering about the island, selling tobacco. Nobody knew him, and he was suspected to be a spy. MKenzie came running to the hut, and told that this suspected person was approaching. Upon which the three gentlemen, young Rasay, Dr. Macleod, and Malcolm, held a council of war upon him, and were unanimously of opinion that he should instantly be put to death. Prince Charles, at once assuming a grave and even severe countenance, said, “ God forbid that we should take away a man's life, who may be innocent, while we can preserve our own.” The gentlemen however persisted in their resolution, while he as strenuously continued to take the merciful side. John M‘Kenzie, who sat watching at the door of the hut, and overheard the debate, said in Erse, “ Well, well; he must be shot. You are the king, but we are the parliament, and will do what we choose.” Prince Charles, seeing the gentlemen smile, asked what the man had said, and being told it in English, he observed that he was a clever fellow, and, notwithstanding the perilous situation in which he was, laughed loud and heartily. Luckily the unknown person did not perceive that there were people in the hut, at least did not come to it, but walked on past it, unknowing of his risk. It was afterwards found out that he was one of the Highland army, who was himself in danger. Had he come to them, they were resolved to despatch him ; for, as Malcolm said to me, “ We could not keep him with us, and we durst not let him go. In such a situation, I would have shot my brother, if I had not been sure of him.” John M*Kenzie was at Rasay's house when we were there! About eighteen years before, he hurt one of his legs when dancing, and being obliged to have it cut off, he was now going about with a wooden leg. The story of his being a member of parliament is not yet forgotten. I took him out a little way from the house, gave him a shilling to drink Rasay's health, and led him into a detail of the particulars which I have just related. With less foundation, some writers have traced the idea of a parliament, and of the British constitution, in rude and early times. I was curious to know if he had really heard, or understood, any thing of that subject, which, had he been a greater man, would probably have been eagerly maintained. “Why, John," said I,
This old Scottish member of parliament, I am informed, is still living (1785). -BOSWELL.
“ did you think the king should be controlled by a parliament ?" He answered, “I thought, sir, there were many voices against one."
The conversation then turning on the times, the wanderer said, that, to be sure, the life he had led of late was a very hard one; but he would rather live in the way he now did, for ten years, than fall into the hands of his enemies. The gentlemen asked him, what he thought his enemies would do with him, should he have the misfortune to fall into their hands. He said, he did not believe they would dare to take his life publickly, but he dreaded being privately destroyed by poison or assassination. He was very particular in his inquiries about the wound which Dr. Macleod had received at the battle of Culloden, from a ball which entered at one shoulder, and went cross to the other. The doctor happened still to have on the coat which he wore on that occasion. He mentioned, that he himself had his horse shot under him at Culloden ; that the ball hit the horse about two inches from his knee, and made him so unruly that he was obliged to change him for another. He threw out some reflections on the conduct of the disastrous affair at Culloden, saying, however, that perhaps it was rash in him to do so. I am now convinced that his suspicions were groundless ; for I have had a good deal of conversation upon the subject with my very worthy and ingenious friend, Mr. Andrew Lumisden, who was under secretary to Prince Charles, and afterwards principal secretary to his father at Rome, who, he assured me, was perfectly satisfied both of the abilities and honour of the generals who commanded the Highland army on that occasion. Mr. Lumisden has written an account of the three battles in 1745-6, at once accurate and classical. Talking of the different Highland corps, the gentlemen who were present wished to have his opinion which were the best soldiers. He said, he did not like comparisons among those corps: they were all best.
He told his conductors, he did not think it advisable to remain long in any one place; and that he expected a French ship to come for him to Lochbroom, among the Mackenzies. It then was proposed to carry him in
one of Malcolm's boats to Lochbroom, though the distance was fifteen leagues coastwise. But he thought this would be too dangerous, and desired that, at any rate, they might first endeavour to obtain intelligence. Upon which young Rasay wrote to his friend, Mr. M.Kenzie of Applecross, but received an answer, that there was no appearance of any French ship.
It was therefore resolved that they should return to Sky, which they did, and landed in Strath, where they reposed in a cow-house belonging to Mr. Niccolson of Scorbreck. The sea was very rough, and the boat took in a good deal of water. The wanderer asked if there was danger, as he was not used to such a vessel. Upon
being told there was not, he sung an Erse song with much vivacity. He had by this time acquired a good deal of the Erse language.
Young Rasay was now despatched to where Donald Roy was, that they might get all the intelligence they could; and the wanderer, with much earnestness, charged Dr. Macleod to have a boat ready, at a certain place about seven miles off, as he said he intended it should carry him upon a matter of great consequence; and gave the doctor a case ', containing a silver spoon, knife, and fork, saying, “Keep you that till I see you,” which the doctor understood to be two days from that time. But all these orders were only blinds; for he had another plan in his head, but wisely thought it safest to trust his secrets to no more persons than was absolutely necessary. Having then desired Malcolm to walk with him a little way from the house, he soon opened his mind, saying, “ I deliver myself to you. Conduct me to the Laird of M‘Kinnon's country.” Malcolm objected that it was very dangerous, as so many parties of soldiers were in motion. He answered, “ There is nothing now to be done without danger.” He then said, that Malcolm must be the master, and he the servant ; so he took the bag, in which his linen was put up, and carried it on his shoulder ; and observing that his waistcoat, which was of scarlet tartan, with a gold twist button, was finer than Malcolm's, which was of a plain ordinary tartan, he put on Malcolm's waistcoat, and gave him his ; remarking at the same time, that it did not look well that the servant should be better dressed than the master.
Malcolm, though an excellent walker, found himself excelled by Prince Charles, who told him he should not much mind the parties that were looking for him, were he once but a musquet shot from them ; but that he was somewhat afraid of the Highlanders who were against him. He was well used to walking in Italy, in pursuit of game; and he was even now so keen a sportsman that, having observed some partridges, he was going to take a shot; but Malcolm cautioned him against it, observing that the firing might be heard by the tenders who were hovering upon the coast.
As they proceeded through the mountains, taking many a circuit to avoid any houses, Malcolm, to try his resolution, asked him what they should do, should they fall in with a party of soldiers : he answered,“ Fight, to be sure!” Having asked Malcolm if he should be known in his present dress, and Malcolm having replied he would, he said, “ Then I'll blacken my face with powder.” “That (said Malcolm) would discover you at once.” “ Then (said he), I must be put in the greatest dishabille possible.” So he pulled off his wig, tied a handkerchief round his head, and put his nightcap over it, tore the ruffles from his shirt, took the buckles out of his shoes, and made Malcolm fasten them with strings; but still Malcolm thought he would be known. “ I have so odd a face (said he), that no man ever saw me but he would know me again.”
' (The case with the silver spoon, knife, and fork, given by the Chevalier to Dr. Macleod, came into the hands of Mary, Lady Clerk of Pennycuik, who intrusted me with the honourable commission of presenting them, in her ladyship's name, to his present majesty, upon his visit to Scotland.- WALTER Scott.]
He seemed unwilling to give credit to the horrid narrative of men being massacred in cold blood, after victory had declared for the army commanded by the Duke of Cumberland. He could not allow himself to think that a general could be so barbarous.
When they came within two miles of M‘Kinnon's house, Malcolm asked if he chose to see the laird. “No (said he), by no means. I know M‘Kinnon to be as good and as honest a man as any in the world, but he is not fit for my purpose at present. You must conduct me to some other house; but let it be a gentleman's house." Malcolm then determined that they should go to the house of his brother-in-law, Mr. John M‘Kinnon, and from thence be conveyed to the main land of Scotland, and claim the assistance of Macdonald of Scothouse. The wanderer at first objected to this, because Scothouse was cousin to a person of whom he had suspicions. But he acquiesced in Malcolm's opinion.
When they were near Mr. John M‘Kinnon's house, they met a man of the name of Ross, who had been a private soldier in the High
He fixed his eyes steadily on the wanderer in his disguise, and having at once recognized him, he clapped his hands, and exclaimed, “ Alas! is this the case?" Finding that there was now a discovery, Malcolm asked “What's to be done?” “Swear him to secrecy," answered Prince Charles. Upon which Malcolm drew his dirk, and on the naked blade made him take a solemn oath, that he would say nothing of his having seen the wanderer, till his escape should be made publick.
Malcolm's sister, whose house they reached pretty early in the morning, asked him who the person was that was along with him. He said it was one Lewis Caw, from Crieff, who being a fugitive like himself, for the same reason, he had engaged him as his servant, but that he had fallen sick. “ Poor man! (said she) I pity him. At the same time my heart warms to a man of his appearance.” Her husband was gone a little way from home; but was expected every minute to return. She set down to her brother a plentiful Highland breakfast. Prince Charles acted the servant very well, sitting at a respectful distance, with his bonnet off. Malcolm then said to him, “Mr. Caw, you have as much need of this as I have; there is enough for us both: you had better draw nearer and share with me." Upon which he rose, made a profound bow, sat down at table with his supposed master, and eat very heartily. After this there came in an old woman, who, after the mode of ancient hospitality, brought
warm water, and washed Malcolm's feet. He desired her to wash the feet of the poor man who attended him. She at first seemed averse to this, from pride, as thinking him beneath her, and in the periphrastick language of the Highlanders and the Irish, said warmly, “ Though I wash your father's son's feet, why should I wash his father's son's feet?” She was however persuaded to do it.
They then went to bed, and slept for some time; and when Malcolm awaked, he was told that Mr. John M‘Kinnon, his brotherin-law, was in sight. He sprang out to talk to him before he should see Prince Charles. After saluting him, Malcolm, pointing to the sea, said, “What, John, if the prince should be prisoner on board one of those tenders ?" “God forbid !” replied John.
" What if we had him here?” said Malcolm. “I wish we had,” answered John; we should take care of him.” “Well, John," said Malcolm, “he is in your house." John, in a transport of joy, wanted to run directly in, and pay his obeisance; but Malcolm stopped him, saying, “Now is your time to behave well, and do nothing that can discover him.” John composed himself, and having sent away all his servants upon different errands, he was introduced into the presence of his guest, and was then desired to go and get ready a boat lying near his house, which, though but a small leaky one, they resolved to take, rather than go to the Laird of M‘Kinnon. John M‘Kinnon, however, thought otherwise ; and upon his return told them, that his chief and Lady M‘Kinnon were coming in the laird's boat. Prince Charles said to his trusty Malcolm, “ I am sorry for this, but must make the best of it.” M.Kinnon then walked up from the shore, and did homage to the wanderer. His lady waited in a cave, to which they all repaired, and were entertained with cold meat and wine. Mr. Malcolm M‘Leod being now superseded by the Laird of M‘Kinnon, desired leave to return, which was granted him, and Prince Charles wrote a short note, which he subscribed James Thompson, informing his friends that he had got away from Sky, and thanking them for their kindness; and he desired this might be speedily conveyed to young Rasay and Dr. Macleod, that they might not wait longer in expectation of seeing him again. He bade a cordial adieu to Malcolm, and insisted on his accepting of a silver stockbuckle, and ten guineas from his purse, though, as Malcolm told me, it did not appear to contain above forty. Malcolm at first begged to be excused, saying, that he had a few guineas at his service; but Prince Charles answered, “You will have need of money. I shall get enough when I come upon the main land.”
The Laird of M Kinnon then conveyed him to the opposite coast of Knoidart. Old Rasay, to whom intelligence had been sent, was crossing at the same time to Sky; but as they did not know of each other, and each had apprehensions, the two boats kept aloof.