Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

able to find the wanderers, they hastily retired, in dread of the English cruisers. At length, tidings reached Cameron of Clunes, that l'Heureux and la Princesse de Conti had left St. Malo under the command of Colonel Warren, and had arrived at Lochnarmagh. As good luck would have it, Cameron fell in with a poor woman, who chanced to be acquainted with the secret of the Cage and its inmates, to whom he immediately despatched a message, announcing this opportunity for their escape. The news found them heartily weary of their mountain abode, and, on the 13th of September, the fugitives prepared to quit the country, though not before the Prince had sent round an intimation to such of his friends as he supposed might be in danger, that they were at liberty, if they pleased, to join him.

Borodale, the very place whence Charles had first summoned Lochiel to his standard, was now the spot appointed for embarkation. Resting by day, as a time too dangerous for them to travel in, on the sixth night they reached Borodale, having been joined on the road by Glengary, John Roy Stewart, Dr. Cameron, and some others of the more devoted Jacobites, and on the 20th of September they set sail for Lochmarnagh. But if every heart beat more freely upon finding themselves clear of the land, they soon discovered, to their cost, that they had only exchanged one kind of peril for another. Admiral Lestrock's squadron appeared in sight, and two men-of-war, that outsailed the rest, quickly began to chase them, with a fair chance of cutting off their retreat. Fortune, however, had by this time exhausted her malice; a thick fog came on with a suddenness by no means unusual at sea, and, taking advantage of it to change their course from Morlaix to Vantes, they arrived there happily on the 29th.

It should always be remembered, to the credit of

Charles Edward, that, when safe in France, he did not forget the friend who had suffered so severely in his cause. Anxious to provide for him as well as circumstances would allow, he persuaded the French King to offer him the colonelcy of a regiment, an offer which Lochiel for a long time declined, on the plea that he yet hoped to draw his sword for his own monarch, and, therefore, was unwilling to fetter himself by the obligations of foreign service. His reluctance on this point was, with some difficulty, overruled by the authoritative persuasions of the Prince, and the means of happiness were now within his reach could he have moulded his mind to the form of existing circumstances. He possessed, if not a splendid, yet a sufficient, income, enjoyed the company of an affectionate wife, who had abandoned home and friends to share his blighted fortunes, and had the further consolation of an infant daughter whom he named Donalda. But his thoughts were more busy with wbat he had lost than with that which still remained to him; his yearning for the land of his fathers grew stronger and stronger every day, and the feeling was rendered yet more intolerable by the distressing tales that were constantly being brought to him from Scotland - tales of friends perishing on the scaffold, of clans plundered, oppressed, and disarmed, and of efforts to denationalize a whole people, by compelling them to lay aside a costume which had descended to them from the Roman ages. If, as a Scotchman, he mourned for Scotland, as a chieftain he was yet more deeply grieved for his own particular clan, which came in for a full share of the evils inflicted upon the country, and only, as his conscience must have told him, now it was too late, because they had submitted to his guidance. Stung almost to madness by these reflections, he was constantly urging the Prince by letters and through

VOL. II.

I

friends to make another trial of his fortunes. But Charles Edward had no longer that spirit of adventure surviving in his bosom that had once made him land alone at Borodale to contend for the crown of England, and was said to be completely under the influence of Mrs. Walkinshaw and her daughter, both of whom were regarded by many as spies of George the First. Ambition had given way in him to an absorbing love of ease and pleasure, and it was likely enough that his feelings prompted him rightly when they led him to decline an enterprise for which, it is probable, he was no longer qualified.

Upon these terms the Prince and his too-faithful adherent parted, never, as it chanced, to meet again. The rest of Lochiel's days were consumed in useless regrets for the past, unalloyed by any hopes from the future, and, in 1760, he died of a broken heart, another sad testimony to the truth of the poet's saying:

Quicquid delirant reges plectuntur Achivi.

THE LANDS OF BRAEHEAD.

JAMES V. was a monarch whose good and benevolent intentions often rendered his romantic freaks venial, if not respectable, since, from his anxious attention to the interests of the lower and most oppressed class of his subjects, he was, as we are told, popularly called the King of the Commons. For the purpose of seeing that justice was regularly administered, and frequently from the less justifiable motive of gallantry, he used to traverse the vicinage of his several palaces in various disguises. The two excellent comic songs, entitled “The Gaberlunzie-man,” and “We'll gae nae mair a-roving," are said to have been founded upon the success of his amorous adventures when travelling in the disguise of a beggar. The latter, perhaps, is the best comic ballad in any language.

An adventure, which had nearly cost James his life, is said to have taken place at the village of Cramond, near Edinburgh, where he had rendered his addresses acceptable to a pretty girl of the lower rank. Four or five persons, whether relations or lovers of his mistress is uncertain, beset the disguised monarch as he returned from his rendezvous. Naturally courageous, and an admirable master of his weapon, the king took his post on the high and narrow bridge over the Almond river, and defended himself bravely with the sword. A pea

[ocr errors][merged small]

sant, who was threshing in a neighbouring barn, came out upon the noise, and, whether moved by compassion or by natural gallantry, took the weaker side, and laid about with his flail so effectually, as to disperse the assailants, well threshed, even according to the letter. He then conducted the king into his barn, where bis guest requested a basin and towel, to remove the stains of the broil. This being procured with difficulty, James employed himself in learning what was the summit of his deliverer's earthly wishes, and found that they were bounded by the desire of possessing in property the farm of Braehead, upon which he laboured as a bondsman. The lands chanced to belong to the crown; and James directed him to come to the palace of Holyrood, and inquire for the Gudeman of Ballanquich, a name by which he was known in his excursions, and which answered to Il Bondocani of Haroun Alraschid. He presented himself accordingly, and found, with due astonishment, that he had saved his monarch’s life, and that he was to be gratified with a crown-charter of the lands of Braehead, under the service of presenting an ewer, basin, and towel, for the king to wash his hands when he should happen to pass the bridge of Cramond. This person was ancestor of the Howisons of Braehead, in MidLothian, a respectable family, the representative of which, William Howison Craufurd, Esq., of Craufurdland, in Ayrshire, still continues to hold the lands under the same tenure.

Another of King James's frolics, which may be appropriately added, is thus narrated by Mr. Campbell, from the Statistical Account:-“Being once benighted when out hunting, and separated from his attendants, he hapadd to enter a cottage, in the midst of the moor at

of the Ochil hills, near Alloa, where, unknown,
indly received. In order to regale their unex-

Be the

« ПредишнаНапред »