hope for, and its Whigs affecting to fear, / gentleman, with all the charm of manner the exiled Stuarts in their distant retire- and person peculiar to his race. There ment; but one party just as ready as the seems every reason to believe that such a other with fine birthday clothes at the Hano- nature, sweetened by prosperity, might verian Court, and traditionary Jacobitism have come to a finer development than ever falling into the constitutional opposition of Stuart yet had attained since the first James more recent times. Never was there an of Scotland, the poet of the race. But such age when men were less likely to sacrifice was not the intention of Providence, in all themselves, and put their fortunes and lives things so inscrutable, and in none more so in peril, for a banished and half-forgotten than in the determination of the influences King. There were a hundred solid reasons which cramp or guide the development of why George and his family should lie heavy character. England did but stand and look on the English mind. He was no English- on while the young Chevalier drew near nian, nor even pretended to be. He had none her coasts, greeting him with the look of of the qualities that make a man personally alarm which might be supposed to startle a popular, except courage. He gave the world shopkeeper at the appearance of any riot an example of dull profligacy on the one side, which would put his goods and traffic in and unnatural family discords on the other, danger — putting up her shutters, locking such as the public mind, however little her till, in unheroic tremor and still more toned to virtue, invariably resents. In all unheroic calm awaiting the issue. The his public acts he made it apparent that his noblest of Jacobite families, they who had new kingdom was nothing to him in com- kept up anxious relations with the exiled parison with his native principality —"a Court for years (and there was scarcely one province to a despicable electorate," as Pitt family of importance, scarcely one eager boldly and bitterly said. Yet so deeply statesman, who had not one time or other had the dangers of civil war stamped them- offered services to or excited the expectaselves on men's minds; or so bent were all tions of that Court), adopted this attitude. on personal well-being, safety, and such suc- So long as nothing was to be done, they cess as was practicable; or so dull was the were content to speak of the Prince's adlevel of public feeling at a moment when no vent as if it would bring them salvation; public leader possessed the thrill of sympa- but as soon as he appeared, the warmest thetic genius, and every man schemed and prayer they had to utter was, that he would struggled for himself, that notwithstanding keep away from them and depart from all the drawbacks that attended the Hano- their coasts. Men who are in possession verian race, no touch of ancient love seems of all the best gifts of fortune may be parto have awakened in the English heart to-doned for not rushing blindly into an enterwards the young, noble, and hopeful Pre- prise which is likely to conduct them to the tender, who thus set out with his life in his Tower and the block; but yet it must be hand to claim his hereditary place. The recollected that the men who thus stood whole nation, occupied with its own affairs, apart and let their Prince dash himself to and sullenly awaiting the result of its last pieces against the great wall of a nation's experiment in kingmaking, abstracted itself passive resistance, had given him for years from all new contests, and looked on, angry a theoretical allegiance, had supported his to have its quiet disturbed, indignant at the pretensions, kept up his hopes, and mainthought of new expenses, unmoved by the tained before his eyes a gleam of perpetual romance of the situation or by the daring possibility. They were all waiting, they of the Adventurer. At this moment of his professed, for the moment when it would be career there can be no doubt that of all the wise to make the attempt. Such waiting young princes in Europe Charles Edward was no matter of life and death to them. was personally one of the most promising. Their circumstances were in no way desHis education had been bad, but his mind perate — their lands and livings were sewas open. He was full of noble natural cured, and even public life was not shut gifts, if not of intellect at least of charac- against them. But with him it was life or ter -- a gracious, magnanimous, valiant | death.




Charles Edward went first to Paris, where mand the embarkation." His letters are he was kept for some time in great retire- full of excitement, alarm, and doubt. Noment, seeing nobody, not even the King - body knew, it is evident, how far the people and afterwards to Gravelines, a little forti- were to be calculated upon. The agitated fied town on the dreary line of coast between Whig world, which felt itself on the edge Calais and Dunkirk, where he lived in more of a revolution, on one side of the Channel, utter seclusion still, attending the prepara- with Walpole for an interpreter, waiting an tions for the expedition and watching their event which “ to me must and shall be deciprogress. From this spot, for the first sive,” as he says, with an earnestness which, time, amid the mists and storms of winter, considering his perfectly private position, he looked across the angry Channel upon seems uncalled for; and, on the other, on England with such thoughts as may be con- the border of the separating sea, Charles ceived. On that monotonous shore, linger- Edward, eager, breathless, full of hope, ing upon the margin of the wild sea, catch- waiting with a still more burning eagerness ing glimpses, as the clouds lifted and fell, for the outset of the expedition, — make a of the island-kingdom of his forefathers, the curious picture. So deep were the appreAdventurer becomes his own historian; but hensions of the ruling Whigs among whom bis record is of facts only, not of sentiments Horace lived, that he writes, with such conand feelings. His sole attendant was a solation as he could muster, to his friend Highland gentleman, one of the busy con- Mann, the envoy at Florence. “Trust to spirators of the time, in whom he seems to my friendship for working every engine to have been able to repose scanty faith. • The restore you to as good a situation as you situation I am in is very particular,” he will lose, if my fears prove prophetic,” he writes, “ for nobody knows where I am, or writes; but the only real gleam of comwhat is become of me, so that I am entirely fort he has is, that the populace, always so buried as to the public, and cannot but say ready to be led away by a name, had been that it is a very great constraint upon me, seized with a horror of the French invasion. for I am obliged very often not to stir from The French name will do more harm to my room for fear of somebody noticing my the cause than the Pretender's service," he face. I very often think that you would says. All this fright on the one hand, and laugh heartily if you saw me going about hope on the other, came to an end without with a single servant, buying fish and other the striking of a blow. The French fleet things, and squabbling for a penny more or was watched and pursued, and let slip, by less. I have every day large packets to the English admiral, old and prudent, who answer, without anybody to help me but had been sent out to look for it; but anBohaldie. Yesterday I had one that cost other guardian, more potent than even an me seven hours and a half.” These pack- English tleet, watched the British coasts. ets included the correspondence of secret There have been terrible winds these four agents, of friends in England, and of the or five days," Horace writes, catching at councillors about the French King — all the the straw of good fortune. The storm different machinery by which the great in- '* blew directly upon Dunkirk,” beating vasion was to be completed. Thus be back the invading vessels. • Some of the waited secluded, with England in sight, till largest ships, with all the men on board, the ships were fitted out and the soldiers were lost," says Lord Mahon;

“ others marshalled which should enable him to put were wrecked on the coast, and the remainhis fortune to the touch — a moment of su- der were obliged to put back to the harpreme anxiety, and yet more supreme hope. bour with no small injury.” After all these

The news reached London before long, elaborate preparations, this storm sufficed and made the peaceful population tremble. to discourage France from ber project. The Early in February, Horace Walpole, scoff- royal exile, who had embarked so eagerly, ing, supposes “the Pretender's son," then was put ashore again, in that dejection which in Paris, was as near England as ever he follows too triumphant hopes. A plan so is like to be.” But a week after his tone large and elaborate, collapsing so suddenly is mightily changed. The “imminence of and utterly, has few parallels in history: our danger” are the words on Horace's In England, it is evident, nobody believed lips. “Don't be surprised if you hear that it was over by this one encounter with the this crown is fought for on land,” he writes. winds. " That great storm certainly saved “ As yet there is no rising; but we must us from the invasion then," writes Horace expect it on the first descent.” “There is Walpole, in the middle of March. But of no doubt of the invasion,” he adds, on the all the expedition, the only individual who 231 February; "the young Pretender is at seems to have thought more of it after setting Calais, and the Count de Saxe is to com- foot on French soil, was the one princely


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

heart, sick with' disappointed hope, down-| heroic kingdom. But though it came to cast, and heavy, but not crashed or help- something very much like this in the end, less, who went back once more alone to the at that moment he was dissuaded from such dreary little seaport, to wait some gleam of a venture. After a while he went to Paris, better fortune. * To all the world around where he lived privately, wearily waiting for him his business was secondary. France, succour and encouragement from the French politely regretful, turned aside and went off Court, then actually at war with England. to her own concerns. Jacobite England - I have taken a house within a league of

a gave a doubtful, distant, sentimental hom- this town, where I live like a hermit,” he age, so long as the Deliverer would but keep writes to his father in the beginning of June. away from her. Had the Prince been a In November he is still no farther advanced. man of his father's calibre, no doubt he “* As long as there is life, there is hope, would have dropped salt tears into the angry that's the proverb," he writes in his wearisurf of the wild Channel that lay between ness. * You may imagine how I must be him and his kingdom, and abandoned the out of humour at all these proceedings, hopeless desperate attempt. But Charles when for comfort I am plagued out of my Edward was of other mettle. The moment life with tracasseries from our own people, had come when he must do or die. Wild who, it would seem, would rather sacrifice hopes of victory, no doubt, were in his mind; me and my affairs than fail in any private but it is evident that other thoughts — vis- view of their own.” Already he had begun ions of the possibility of death on the field, to see the disastrous intluences which were a violent glorious end — were also present in the field against him, and that the difhbefore him. The only thing impracticable culties in his own camp would be as heavy was to return to the languid misery of Italian a strain on his courage and patience as any dependence - the death-in-life of his Roman without. “Our friends in England are captivity. No hereditary enthusiasm for afraid of their own shadow, and think of the house of Stuart moves the mind of the little but diverting themselves,” he adds, present writer; but he would be a passion- mournfully, “otherwise we should not need less observer, indeed, who could look upon the King of France." By degrees he learned the forlorn and dauntless figure of this also that the King of France was little likeprincely young man, gazing on his hered- ly to aid him with more than vague promisitary kingdom across the salt and bitter és of service. He was ready bimself to set waves, and making up his mind to all the out with a single footman if necessary to dangers, all the toils and hardships, of one "put himself in a tub, like Diogenes !” he last struggle for his rights, without a thrill says, with half-ironic, half-pathetic humour. of generous sympathy. He was no philoso- He begs his father to pawn bis jewels, which pher, to consider the weeping train of or on this side the water he would wear with phans whom his enterprise would leave fath- a very sore heart,” in order to furnish the erless; bis was no cruel imagination, capable necessary funds for the undertaking. “The of realising the pitiless horrors with which French Court sticks at the money,” he writes a frightened country should stamp out the in the spring of 1745, but he himself would remnants of rebellion. Himself brave, clem- rather “pawn his shirt" than fail. Those ent, tender, and magnanimous, how could letters, though badly written and badly Charles Stuart conceive of the butcheries spelled, convey anything but an idea.of an of Cumberland? The spirit of his race rose untrained or dúll intelligence. All the grand in him to its one last outburst. Error and drawbacks to success are clearly indicated misfortune ran in the blood — but the Ad- in them — the indifference of France, the venturer on that lonely shore seems to have timidity and supineness of the English cast off for the moment the dreary memories Jacobites, the factions and feuds and selfof the English Stuarts, and served himself will of the Scotch. It is thus that he defends heir to the noble old Jameses — gallant and explains his own motives, and the causmonarchs of a barbarous-gallant people es which led him to take the final step, in the Commons' kings! The time had come a remarkable letter dated June 12, 1745, when all the nobleness, patience, valour, about six weeks before his arrival in Sootand courage of the old stock should burst land : again into flower - - one of its best blossoms, and its last.

“ After such scandalous usage as I have reSo eager was the Prince to enter upon the ceived from the French Court, had I not given my great work of his life, that he proposed to word to do so, or got so many encouragements the brave old Earl Mareschal to embark in from time to time as I have hind, I should have a herring-boat and make his way to Scot- been obliged in honour, and for my own repuland, with characteristic trust in the ancient tation, to have fung myself into the arms of my

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]



friends, and die with them, rather than live lon- money, next to troops, will be of the greatest
ger in such a miserable way here, or be obliged help to me.
to return to Rome, which would be just giving ** I should think it proper (if your Majesty
up all hopes. I cannot but mention a parable pleases) to be put at his Holiness's feet, asking
here, which is, a horse that is to be sold, if his blessing on this occasion; but what I chietly
spurred, does not skip or show some sign of life, ask is your own, which I hope will procure me
nobody would care to have him even for nothing; that of God Almighty upon my endeavours to
just so, my friends would care very little to have serve you, my family, and my country, which
me, if after such usage, which all the world is will ever be the only view of your Majesty's
sensible of, I should not show that I have life in most dutiful son,

Your Majesty cannot disapprove a son's
following the example of his father. You your- This letter is sufficient to demonstrate
self did the like in the year '15; but the circum- that Charles's imperfect education had toler-
stances now are indeed very different by being
much more encouraging, there being a certainty ably well answered the purpose of all true
of succeeding with the least help, the particulars training: Spelling was an art less consider,
of which would be too long to explain, and even ed in these days than now; but not the most
impossible to convince you of by writing, which chaotic spelling or schoolboy penmanship
has been the reason that I presumed to take up- could obscure the manly, straightforward the managing all this without even letting sentiments, or the serious, moderate resolu-
you suspect that such a thing was brewing. . tion expressed in these lines. The father to

Had I failed to convince you, I was then whom they were addressed was an elegant afraid you might have thought what I had a penman, correct in style and orthography; mind to do to be rash, and so have absolutely but 'Prince Charles's homely sentences ring forbid my proceedings, thinking that to acquire with a mettle and meaning anknown to the glory I was capable of doing a desperate action. softer hero of the Fifteen his style, if not But in that case I can't be sure but I might have that of a scholar, is always that of a man. followed the example of Manlius, who disobeyed

At last the little expedition got under his father's orders on a like occasion. .. Let what will happen, the stroke is struck, and I weigh. It was in the middle of July, sixhave taken a firm resolution to conquer or die, teen months after the failure of the proposed and stand my ground as long as I have a man invasion, that Charles at last set sail from remaining with me. I think it of the greatest St. Nazaire, at the mouth of the Loire. importance your Majesty should come as soon as The vessel in wbich he embarked he despossible to Avignon, but take the liberty to advise cribes as a frigate" carrying "twenty odd that you would not ask leave of the French guns, and an excellent sailer," which had Court; for if I be not immediately succoured, been procured for him by "one Rutledge they will certainly refuse you. And this refusal and Walsh," the latter of whom commanded will be chiefly occasioned by our own people, who the ship. A man-of-war of sixty-seven will be afraid to have you so near for their own guns had been procured by the same priprivate views, and so suggest things to the vate individuals,“ to cruise on the coast of French Court, to prevent you coming till all Scotland, and is luckily obliged to go as shall be decided. I am certain if you were once far north as I do, so that she will escort me at Avignon you would never be obliged to remove; without appearing to do it.” In his own but in order to our happy meeting on the other side of the sea.

vessel he had “fifteen hundred fusees, “ Your Majesty may be well assured I shall eighteen hundred broadswords mounted, a never be at rest till I bring about the happy day good quantity of powder, ball, flints, dirks, of our meeting. It is most certain that the gen- brandy, &c. I have also got twenty small erality of people will judge of this enterprise by field-pieces, two of which a mule may carry, the success, which if favourable, I shall get and my cassette will be near four thousand more honour than I deserve. If otherwise, all | louis d'or.” In the man-of-war was “a comthe blame will be thrown upon the French Court pany of sixty volunteers, all gentlemen, for having pushed a young Prince to show his whom I shall probably get to land with me, mettle, and rather die than live in a state unbe- which, though few, will make a show, they coming himself. Whatever happens unfortunate having a pretty uniform.” With these proto me cannot but be the strongest engagement to visions the Adventurer set out dauntless the French Court to pursue your cause. Now, if I were sure they were capable of any sensation to invade a great, rich, and warlike kingof this kind, if I did not succeed, I would perish British man-of-war, and, disabled with the

dom. On the way his escort encountered a as Curtius did to serve my country and make it happy, it being an indispensable duty on me, as

conflict, had to put back, carrying the sixty far as it lies in my power. Your Majesty may

volunteers and their pretty uniform away to now see my reason for pressing you to pawn my France again. Nor was it Charles's fault jewels, which I should be glad to have done im- that his own vessel did not join in the commediately, for I never intend to come back, and bat. His captain threatened to order him


down to the cabin ere he would cease his en- ment of youth. "I will!" cried the lad, treaties to that effect. At length the lonely with Highland fervour; "though not anlittle ship, not without pursuit from other other man in the Highlands should draw a wandering cruisers, reached, after a fort- sword, I am ready to die for you!" This night's voyage, the Western Isles. As the eager outburst of devotion, and the sudden invader approached the shore of one of those emotion with which Charles, wound up to wild and rocky islands, an eagle came hover- the uttermost, and at the point of despair, ing round the ship. "Old Tullibardine, received the frank allegiance, was the spark who first spied the bird, did not choose to that was needed to light the flame. Clantake any notice of it, lest they should have ranald and his Duinhewassels, impervious to called it a Highland freat in him." But reason, had no shield to defend them from when he saw the royal creature following this sudden enthusiasm. They did not even the course of the ship, the heart of the old appear to have made any effort to resist Highlander rose within him. Sir, I hope it. The fire was set to the heather, and this is an excellent omen," he said; "the henceforth every passing breath did but fan king of birds has come out to welcome your the flame. Royal Highness." At such a moment the whole party, thus arrived at the crisis for which they had been so long preparing, were naturally open to all influences; they looked "with pleasure" upon their winged attendant at first the only mountain prince who welcomed Charles Stuart to the home of his fathers.


While this momentous conference was going on, other Macdonalds waiting at the other end of the deck, half-informed of what was passing and full of excitement, saw " a tall youth of a most agreeable aspect," whose looks moved them, they scarcely knew why. They were told sometimes that he was a young Englishman, sometimes a The story is so well known that it seems French abbé, anxious to see the Highlands; almost a work of supererogation to follow yet nature told them otherwise. "At his its details. The Prince's welcome was un- first appearance I found my heart swell to doubtedly cold. He had been invited to my very throat," says one spectator. One Scotland by a parcel of conspirators - men laird after another came and went from the whose lives were always in danger, and to isles and misty mainland to the little ship, whom a little risk, more or less, did not the centre of so many fears and hopes. matter-not by the chiefs to whom he now Each of them came with his burden of reappealed, who had life and lands, and the monstrance, his intended protest against the lives of their clansmen, to answer for. The mad enterprise; and each, like young Racondition of their rising had always been the nald, went away with fire in his heart and in support of a body of French Troops-a his eyes, to raise his men and risk his life for kind of assistance which was not so revolting the "native Prince," who had thus thrown to the Scottish, still less to the Highland himself on Highland devotion. Hugh of the mind, as to the English. When they found house of Morar warned Donald of Kinlochhe had come among them alone, with seven moidart that he "did not like the expedition men only in his company, a thrill ran at all, and was afraid of the results." "I through the islesmen. They tried hard to cannot help it," said the other: "if the support each other in entreaties that he matter go wrong, I'll certainly be hanged, would give up his enterprise, and protesta- for I am engaged already." When Hugh tions that it was hopeless; but Charles had himself went on into the all-fascinating a thousand weapons to use against this sim- presence, he lifted his voice, as they all did, ple heroic race. While he discussed the in warning. The Prince made answer that matter with several influential Macdonalds," he did not choose to owe his restoration headed by Clanranald himself, his quick eye noted a young Highlander standing apart, in whose face the tide of emotion ran high. While Ranald followed with moving lip and gleaming eye the course of argument- all entreaty on one side, all resistance and reason on the other-his hand sometimes seeking his dirk, his foot beating impatiently on the deck, the Prince saw before him the final plea by which he could overcome. Turning suddenly towards the agitated youth, "You at least will help me?" he said. Such an appeal could only have been made by a man himself still thrilling with the self-abandon

to foreigners, but to his own friends; and that could he get but six trusty men to join him, he would choose far rather to skulk with them among the mountains of Scotland than to return to France." The next glimpse we have of this protesting Hugh, he is importuning "his young chieftain (Clanranald) to go ashore immediately, and raise as many men as might be sufficient to guard the Prince's person! Thus Charles played upon them as a musician on his strings. They could not resist the contagion of his high spirit and chivalrous trust in them. What were lives or lands in comparison to

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »