Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Ranald spoke anxiously and hastily to the children to leave them with the baggage. Neither did they of his tribe, and the men came one by one to shake strike kettle-drums again at the head of that famous hands with Dalgetty, while the women, clamorous regiment until they behaved themselves so notably in their gratitude, pressed round to kiss even the hem at the field of Leipsic; a lesson whilk is not to be of his garment.

forgotten, any more than that exclamation of the im“They plight their faith to you," said Ranald mortal Gustavus, 'Now shall I know if my officers MacEagh, "for requital of the good deed you have love me, by their putting on their armour; since, ir done to the tribe this day.”.

my officers are slain, who shall lead my soldiers into "Enough said, Ranald," answered the soldier, victory?' Nevertheless, friend Ranald, this is without

enough said-tell them I love not this shaking of prejudice to my being rid of these somewhat heavy hands-it confuses ranks and degrees in military ser, boots, providing I can obtain any other succedaneum; vice; and as to kissing of gauntlets, puldrons, and for I presume not to say that my bare soles are fortithe like. I remember that the immortal Gustavus, fied so as to endure the flints and thorns, as seems to as he rode through the streets of Nuremberg, being be the case with your followers." thus worshipped by the populace, (being doubtless To rid the Captain of his cumbrous greaves, and far more worthy of it than a poor though honourable case his feet in a pair of brogues made out of 'deercavalier like myself,) did say unto them, in the way skin, which a Highlander stripped off for his accomof rebuke, If you idolize me thus like a god, who modation, was the work of a minute, and Dalgetty shall assure you that the vengeance of Heaven will found himself much lightened by the exchange. He not soon prove me to be a mortal ?-And so here, I was in the act of recommending to Ranald Mac suppose, you intend to make a stand against your fól- Eagh, to send two or three of his followers a little lowers, Ranald-roto a Dios, as the Spaniard says? | lower to reconnoitre the pass, and, at the same time, a very pretty position-as pretty a position for a somewhat to extend his front, placing two detached small peloton of men as I have seen in my service-archers at each flank by way of posts of observation, no enemy can come towards it by the roud without when the near cry of the hound apprised them that being at the mercy of cannon and musket.-But then, the pursuers were at the bottom of the pass. All was Ranald, my trusty comrade, you have no cannon, I then dead silence; for, loquacious as he was on other dare to aver, and 'I do not see that any of these fél- occasions, Captain Dalgetty knew well the necessity lows have muskets either. So with what artillery of an ambush keeping itself under covert. voy propose making good the pass, before you come The moon gleained on the broken path-way, and to hand blows, truly, Ranald, it passeth my appre- on the projecting cliffs of rock round which it winded, hension."

its light intercepted here and there by the branches of With the weapons and with the courage of our bushes and dwarf-trees, which, finding nourishment fathers,” said MacEagh; and made the Captain ob- in the crevices of the rocks, in some places overshaserve, that the men of his party were armed with dowed the brow and ledge of the precipice. Below, a bows and arrows.

thick copse-wood lay in deep and dark shadow, some"Bows and arrows!" exclaimed Dalgetty; "ha! what resembling the billows of a half-seen ocean. ha! ha! have we Robin Hood and Little John back From the bosom of that darkness, and close to the again? Bows and arrows ! why, the sight has not bottom of the precipice, the hound was heard at inbeen seen in civilized war for a hundred years. Bows tervals baying fearfully, sounds which were redoubled and arrows! and why not weavers’-beams, as in the by the echoes of the woods and rocks around. At in. days of Goliah? Ah! that Dugald Dalgetty, of Drum- tervals, these sunk into deep silence, interrupted only thwacket, should live to see men fight with bows and by the plashing noise of a small runnel of water, arrows !--The immortal Gustavus would never have which partly fell from the rock, partly found a more believed it-nor Wallenstein-nor Butler-nor old silent passage to the bottom along its projecting surTilly.--Well, Ranald, a cat can have but its claws- face. Voices of men were also heard in stifled consince bows and arrows are the word, e'en let us make verse below; it seemed as if the pursuers had not dis. the best of it. Only, as I do not understand the scope covered the narrow path which led to the top of the and range of such old-fashioned artillery, you must rock, or that, having discovered it, the peri: of the make the best disposition you can out of your own ascent, joined to the imperfect light, and the uncer. head; for my taking the command, whilk I would tainty whether it might not be defended, mad. them have gladly done had you been to fight with any hesitate to attempt it. Christian weapons, is out of the question, when you At length a shadowy figure was seen, which raised are to combat like quivered Numidians., I will, how itself up from the abyss of darkness below, and, ever, play my part with my pistols in the approach- emerging into the pale moonlight, began cautiously ing melley, in respect my carabine unhappily remains and slowly to ascend the rocky path. The outline

at Gustavus's saddle. - My service and thanks to was so distinctly marked, that Captain Dalgetty could r you," he continued, addressing a mountaineer who discover not only the person of a Highlander, but the

offered him a bow; “Dugald Dalgetty may say of long gun which he carried in his hand, and the plume hirrself, as he learned at Mareschal-College, of feathers which decorated his bonnet. “Tausend Non eget Mauri jaculis, neque arcu,

teiflen! that I should say so, and so like to be near Nec venenatis gravida sagittis,

my latter end!" ejaculated the Captain, but under his Fusce, pharetra ;

breath, "what will become of us, now they have whilk is to say":

brought musketry to encounter our archers ?!? Ranald MacEagh a second time imposed silence But just as the pursuer had attained a projecting on the talkative commander as before, by pulling his piece of rock about half way up the ascent, and, pausleeve, and pointing down the pass. The bay of the sing, made a signal for those who were still at the bloodhound was now approaching nearer and nearer, bottom to follow him, an arrow whistled from the and they could hear the voices of several persons who bow of one of the Children of the Mist, and transfixed accompanied the animal, and hallooed to each other him with so fatal a wound, that, without a single efas they dispersed occasionally, either in the hurry of fort to save himself, he lost his balance, and fell headtheir advance, or in order to search more accurately long from the cliff on which he stood, into the dark. the thickets as they came along. They were obvi- ness below. The crash of the boughs which received ously drawing nearer and nearer every moment. Mac- him, and the heavy sound of his fall from thence to Eagh, in the meantime, proposed to Captain Dalgetty the ground, was followed by a cry of horror and surto disencumber himself of his armour, and gave him prise, which burst from his followers. The Children to understand that the women should transport it to of the Mist, encouraged in proportion to the alarm a place of safety.

this first success had caused anong the pursuers, I crave your pardon, sir,” said Dalgetty, "such is echoed back the clamour with a loud and shrill yell got the rule of our foreign service; in respect I re- of exultation, and, showing themselves on the brow member the regiment of Finland cuirassiers repri- of the precipice, with wild cries and vindictive ges. manded, and their kettle-drums taken from them, by tures, endeavoured to impress on their enemics a the immortal Gustavus, because they had assumed sense at once of their courage, their numbers, and the permission to march without their corslets. and I their state of defence. Even Captain Dalgetty's mai

itary prudence did not prevent his rising up, and call- , poet's sonnets,* was properly named Alister, or Alex 'ng out to Ranald, more loud than prudence warrant-ander M'Donnell, by birth a Scottish islesman, and ed, " Carocco, comrade, as the Spaniard says! The related to the Earl of Antrim, to whose patronage he ong bow for ever! In my poor apprehension now, owed the command assigned him in the Irish troops. were you to order a file to advance and take posi- In many respects he merited this distinction. He tion"

was brave to intrepidity, and almost to insensibility; "The Sagsenach !" cried a voice from beneath, very strong and active in person, completely master "mark the Sassenach sidier ! I see the glitter of his of his weapons, and always ready to show the exam. breastplate." At the same time three muskets were ple in the extremity of danger. "To counterbalance discharged; and while one ball rattled against the these good qualities, it must be recorded, that he was corslet of proof, to the strength of which our valiant inexperienced in military tactics, and of a jealous and Captain had been more than once indebted for his presumptuous disposition, which often lost to Mon. life, another penetrated the armour which covered trose the fruits of Colkitto's gallantry. Yet such is the front of his left thigh, and stretched him on the the predominance of pulward personal qualities in ground. Ranald instantly seized him in his arms, the eyes of a wild people, that the feats of strength and bore him back from the edge of the precipice, and courage shown by this champion, seem to have while he dolefully ejaculated, "I always told the im- made a stronger impression upon the minds of the mortal Gustavus, Wallenstein, Tilly, and other men Highlanders, than the military skill and chivalrous of the sword, that

, in my poor mind, taslets ought spirit of the great Marquis of Montrose. Nume to be made musket-proof.'

rous traditions are still preserved in the Highland With two or three earnest words in Gaelic, Mac- glens concerning Alister M'Donnell, though the name Eagh commended the wounded man to the charge of Montrose is rarely mentioned among them. of the females, who were in the rear of his little party, The point upon which Montrose finally assembled and was then about to return to the contest. But his little army, was in Strathearn, on ihe verge of Dalgetty detained him, grasping a firm hold of his the Highlands of Perthshire, so as to menace the plaid. — "I know not how this matter may end--but principal town of that county.

request you will inform Montrose, that I died like a His enemies were not unprepared for his reception. follower of the immortal Gustavus-and I pray you, Argyle, at the head of his Highlanders, was dogging take heed how you quit your present strength, even the steps of the Irish from the west to the east, and for the purpose of pursuing the enemy, if you gain any by force, fear, or influence, had collected an army advantage-and-and"

nearly sufficient to have given battle to that under Here Dalgetty's breath and eyesight began to fail Monirose. The Lowlands were also prepared, for him through loss of blood, and MacEagh, availing reasons which we assigned at the beginning of this himself of this circumstance, extricated from his tale. A body of six thousand infantry, and six or grasp the end of his own mantle, and substituted seven thousand cavalry, which profanely assumed the that of a female, by which the Captain held stoutly, title of God's army, had been hastily assembled from thereby securing, as he conceived, the outlaw's at the shires of Fife, Angus, Perth, Stirling, and the tention to the military instructions which he con- neighbouring counties. A much less force in former tinued to pour forth while he had any breath to utter times, nay, even in the preceding reign, would have them, though they became gradually more and more been sufficient to have secured the Lowlands against incoherent-"And, comrade, you will be sure to keep a more formidable descent of Highlanders, than your musketeers in advance of your stand of pikes, those united under Montrose ; but times had changed Lochaber-axes, and two-handed swords-Stand fast, strangely within the last half century. Before that dragoons, on the left flank !-where was I ?-Ay, and, period, the Lowlanders were as constantly engaged Ranald, if ye be minded to retreat, leave some lighted in war as the mountaineers, and were incomparably matches burning on the branches of the trees-it better disciplined and armed. The favourite Scottish shows as if they were lined with shot, But I forget order of battle somewhat resembled the Macedonian -ye have no match-locks nor habergeons-only bows phalanx. Their infantry formed a compact body, and arrows ! bows and arrows! ha! ha! ha!"

armed with long spears, impenetrable even to the Here the Captain sunk back in an exhausted con. men-at-arms of the age, though well mounted, and dition, altogether unable to resist the sense of the arrayed in complete proof. It may easily be conludicrous which, as a modern man-at-arms, he conceived, therefore, that their ranks could not be broken nected with the idea of these ancient weapons of war. by the disorderly charge of Highland infantry armed It was a long time ere he recovered his senses; and, for close combat only, with swords, and ill furnished in the meantime, we leave him in the care of the with missile weapons, and having no artillery Daughters of the Mist; nurses as kind and attentive whatever. in reality, as they were wild and unconth in outward This habit of fight was in a great measure changed appearance.

by the introduction of muskets into the Scottish Lowland service, which, not being as yet combined with the bayonet, was a formidable weapon at a distance,

but gave no assurance against the enemy who rushed CHAPTER XV.

on to close quarters. The pike, indeed, was not But if no faithless action stain

wholly disused in the Scottish army; but it was no 'Thy true and constant word,

longer the favourite weapon, nor was it relied upon I'll make thee famous by my pen,

as formerly by those in whose hands it was placed And glorious by my sword.

insomuch that Daniel Lupton, a tactician of the day, I'll serve thee in such noble ways

has written a book expressly upon the superiority of As ne'er were known before ;

the musket. This change commenced as early as I'll deck and crown thy head with bays, And love thee more and more.-MONTROSE's Lines. made with such rapidity, that the pike was very soon

the wars of Gustavus Adolphus, whose marches were We must now leave, with whatever regret, the ralianc Captain Daigetty, to recover of his wounds would seem, by the divines nesembled' at Westminster, and

* Milton's book, entitled Tetrachordon, had been ridiculed, it or otherwise as fate shall determine, in order briefly others, on nccount of the hardness of the title and Milton ir w trace the military operations of Montrose, worthy his sonnet retaliates upon the barbarous Scottish names which as they are of a more important page, and 'a better the Civil War had made familiar to English ears :historian. By the assistance of the chieftains whom

why is it harder, sirs, than Gordon, we have commemorated, and more especially by the

Colkitto, or M'Donald, or Gallasp?

These rugged names to our like months grow sleek, "inction of the Murrays, Stewarts, and other clans That would have made Quintilian stare und gasp. of Athole, which were peculiarly zealous in the royal "We may suppose," says Bishop Newton, "that these were cause, he soon assembled an army of two or three persons or note among the Scotch ministers, who were for housand Highlanders, to whom he successfully pressing and enforcing the Covenant;" whereas Milton only united the Irish under Colkitto. This last leader, intends to ridicule the barbarism of Scottish names in general, thrown aside in his army, and exchanged for fire-f of artillery and cavalry, that Montrose encountered arms. A circumstance which necessarily accompa: the army of Lord Elcho upon the field of Tippernied this change, as well as the establishmeni of nuir. The Presbyterian clergy had not been wanting standing armies, whereby var became a trade, was in their efforts to rouso the spirit of their followers; the introduction of a laborious and complicated sys and one of them, who harangued the troops on the tem of discipline, combining a variety of words of very day of batile, hesitated not to say, that if ever coinmand with corresponding operations and ma- God spoke by his mouth, he promised them, in His neuvres, the neglect of any one of which was sure name, that day, a great and assured victory. The cato throw the whole into confusion. War, therefore, valry and artillery were also reckoned sure warrants of as practised among most nations of Europe, had as- success, as the novelty of their attack had

and quotes, indiscriminately, that of Gillespie, one of the Apes who, to toe great embarrassment of Milton's com

tles of the Covenant, and those of Colkitto and M'Donnell, (boid mentatori $ MOJA wadonated in one of that great belonging to one person.) one of its bitterest enemies

upon former sumed much more than formerly the character of a occasions been very discouraging to the Highlanders. profession or mystery, to which previous practice and The place of meeting was an open beath, and the experience were indispensable requisites. Such was ground afforded little advantage to either party, exthe gatural consequence of standing armies, which cept that it allowed the horse of the Covenanters to had almost every where, and particularly in the long act with effect. German wars, superseded what may be called the A battle, upon which so much depended, was nenatural discipline of the feudal militia.

ver more easily decided. The Lowland cavalry The Scottish Lowland militia, therefore, laboured made a show of charging: but, whether thrown into ander a double disadvantage when opposed to High- disorder by the fire of musketry, or deterred by a landers. They were divested of the spear, a weapon disaffection to the service said to have prevailed which, in the hands of their ancestors, had so often among the gentlemen, they made no impression on repelled the impetuous assaults of the mountaineer; the Highlanders whatever, and recoiled in disorder and they were subjected to a new and complicated from ranks which had neither bayonets nor pikes to species of discipline, well adapted, perhaps, to the use protect them. Montrose saw, and instantly availed of regular troops, who could be rendered completely himself of this advantage. He ordered his whole masters of it, but tenuing only to confuse the ranks army to charge, which they performed with the wild of citizen soldiers, by whom it was rarely practised, and desperate valour peculiar 10 mountaineers. One and imperfectly understood. So much has been done officer of the Covenanters alone, trained in the Itain our own time in bringing back tactics to their first lian wars, made a desperate defence upon the right principles, and in getting rid of the pedantry of war, wing. In every other point their line was penetrated that it is easy for us to estimate the disadvantages at the first onset; and this advantage once oblained, under which a half-trained militia laboured, who the Lowlanders were utterly unable to contend at were taught to consider success as depending upon close quarters with their more agile and athletic their exercising with precision a system of tactics, enemies. Many were slain on the field, and such a which they probably only so far comprehended as to number in the pursuit, that above one third of the find out when they were wrong, but without the Covenanters were reported to have fallen; in which power of getting right again. Neither can it be de- number, however

, must be computed a great many nied, that," in the material points of military habits fat burgesses who broke their wind in the fight, and and warlike spirit, the Lowlanders of the seventeenth thus died without stroke of sword.* century had sunk' far beneath their Highland coun- The victors obtained possession of Perth, and obtrymen.

tained considerable sums of money, as well as ample From the earlient period down to the union of the supplies of arms and ammunition. But those ad crowns, the whole kingdom of Scotland, Lowlands as vantages were to be balanced against an almost in: well as Highlands, had been the constant scene of war, surmountable inconvenience that uniformly attended foreign and domestic; and there was probably scarce a Highland arıny. The clans could be in no respect one of its hardy inhabitants, between the age of six- induced to consider themselves as regular soldiers, or teen and sixry, who was not as willing in point of to act as such. Even so late as the year 1745-6, when fact, as b: was literally bound in law, to assume arms the Chevalier Charles Edward, by way of making an at the first call of his liege lord, or of a royal procla- example, caused a soldier to be shot for desertion, the mation. The law remained the same in sixteen hun- Highlanders, who composed his army, were affected dred and forty-five as a hundred years before, but the as much by indignation as by fear. They could not race of those subjected to it had been bred up under conceive any principle of justice upon which a man's very different feelings. They had sat in quiet under life could be taken, for merely going home when it their vine and under their fig-tree, and a call to battle did not suit him to remain longer with the army mvolved a change of life as new as it was disagreea- Such

had been the uniform practice

of their fathers. ble. Such of them, also, who lived near unto the When a battle was over, the campaign was, in their Highlands, were in continual and disadvantageous opinion, ended; if it was lost, they sought safety in contact with the restless inhabitants of those moun their mountains-if won, they returned there to tains, by whom their cattle were driven off, their secure their booty. At other times they had their dwellings plundered, and their persons insulted, and cattle to look after, and their harvests to sow or Jeap, who had acquired over them that sort of superiority without which their families would have perished for arising from a constant system of aggression. The want. In either case, there was an end of their serLowlanders, who lay more remote, and out of reach vices for the țime; and though they were easily

enough of these depredations were influenced by the exag- recalled by the prospect of fresh adventures and more gerated reports circulated concerning the Highland plunder, yet the opportunity of suecess was, in the ers, whom, as totally differing in laws, language, and meantime, lost, and could not afterwards be recovered. dress, they were induced to regard as a nation of This circumstance serves to show, even if history had savages, equally void of fear and of humanity. These not made us acquainted with the same fact, that the various prepossessions, joined to the less warlike Highlanders had never been accustomed to make war habits of the Lowlanders, and their imperfect know- with the view of permanent conquest, but only with kedge of the new and complicated system of discipline the hope of deriving temporary advantage. or deciding for which they had exchanged their natural mode of some immediate quarrel. It also explains the reason fighting, placed them at great disadvantage when why Montrose, with all his splendid successes, never opposed to the Highlander in the field of battle. The obtained any secure or permanent footing in the Low mountaineers, on the contrary, with the arms and lands, and why even those Lowland noblemen and courage of their fathers, possessed also their simple gentlemen, who were inclined to the royal cause, and natural system of tactics, and bore down with showed diffidence and reluctance to join an army of the fullest confidence upon an enemy, to whom any a character so desultory and irregular, as might lead thing they had been taught of discipline was, like them at all times to apprehend that the Highlanders, Saul's armour upon David, a hinderance rather than securing themselves by a retreat to their mountains, i help, “because they had not proved it." it was with such disadvantages on the one side,

* We choose to quote our authority for a fact so singular:and such advantages on the other, to counterbalance ers in St. Andrews--many were bursten in the fight, and died

"A great many burgesses were killed-twenty five household the difference of superior numbers and the presence without stroke."-See BAILLIE's Letters, vol. IL Page Vol. III W

26

pro

would leave whatever Lowlanders might have joined gyleshire. Among the niore distinguished was John them to toe mercy of an offended and predominant of Moidart, called the Captain of Clan Ranald, with enemy. The same consideration will also serve to the Stewarts of Appin, the Clan Gregor, the Clan account for the sudden marches which Montrose was M'Nab, and other tribes of inferior distinction. By obliged to undertake, in order to recruit his army in these means, Montrose's army was so formidably inthe mountains, and for the rapid changes of fortune, creased, that Argyle cared no longer to remain in the by which we often find him obliged to retreat from command of that opposed to him, but returned to before those enemies over whom he had recently been Edinburgh, and there ihrew up his commission, under victorious. If there should be any who read these pretence that his army was not supplied with rein. tales for any further purpose than that of immediate forcements and provisions in the manner in which amusement, they will find these remarks not unwor- they ought to have been. From thence the Marquis thy of their recollection.

returned to Inverary, there, in full security, to govern It was owing to such causes, the slackness of the his feudal vassals, and patriarchal followers, and to Lowland loyalists, and the temporary desertion of repose himself in safety on the faith of the Clan his Highland followers, that Montrose found himself, verb already quoted"It is a far cry to Lochow." even after the decisive victory of Tippermuir, in no condition to face the second army with which Argyle advanced upon him from the westward. In this emergency, supplying by velocity the want of strength,

CHAPTER XVI. he moved suddenly from Perth to Dundee, and being Such mountains steep, such craggy hills, refused admission into that town, fell north ward upon

His army on one side enclose :

The other side, great griesly gills Aberdeen, where he expected to be joined by the Gor.

Did feuce with lenny mire and moss, dons and other loyalists. But the zeal of these gentlemen was, for the time, effectually bridled by a

Which when the Earl understood,

He council craved of captains all, large body of Covenanters, commanded by the Lord

Who bade set forth with mourful mood, Burleigh, and supposed to amount to three thousand

And take such fortune as would fall. men. These Montrose boldly attacked with half

Flodden Fleid, 671 Ancient Poemt. their number. The battle was fought under the walls MONTROSE had now a splendid career in his view, of the city, and the resolite valour of Montrose's provided he could obtain the consent of his gallan, followers was again successful against every disad- but desultory troops, and their independent chieftains. vantage.

The Lowlands lay open before him without an army But it was the fate of this great commander always adequate to check his career; for Argyle's followers to gain the glory, but seldom to reap the fruits of vic- had left the Covenanters' host when their master tory. He had scarcely time to repose his small army threw up his commission, and many other troops, in Aberdeen, ere he found, on the one hand, that the tired of the war, had taken the same opportunity to Gordons were likely to be deterred from joining him, disband themselves. By descending Strath-Tay. by the reasons we have mentioned, with some others therefore, one of the most convenient passes from the peculiar to their chief, the Marquis of Huntly; on the Highlands, Montrose had only to present himself in other hand, Argyle, whose forces had been augment, the Lowlands, in order to rouse the slumbering spirit ed' by those of several Lowland noblemen, advanced of chivalry and of loyalty which animated the gentletowards Montrose at the head of an army much lar- men to the north of the Forth. The possession of ger than he had yet had to cope with. These troops these districts, with or without a victory, would give moved, indeed, with slowness, corresponding to the him the command of a wealthy and fertile part of the cautious character of their commander ; but even kingdom, and would enable him, by regular pay, to that caution rendered Argyle's approach formidable, place his army on a more permanent footing, to pe since his very advance implied, that he was at the netrate as far as the capital, perhaps from thence to head of an army irresistibly superior.

the Border, where he deemed it possible to communiThere remained one mode of retreat open to Mon- cate with the yet unsubdued forces of King Charles trose, and he adopted it. He threw himself into the Such was ihe plan of operations by which tho Highlands, where he could set pursuit at defiance, truest glory was to be acquired, and the most imand where he was sure, in every glen, to recover portant success insured for the royal cause. Accordthose recruits who had left his standard to deposit ingly it did not escape the ambitious and daring spirit their booty in their native fastnesses. It was thus of him whose services had already acquired him the that the singular character of the army which Mon- title of the Great Marquis. But other motives actutrose commanded, while, on the one hand, it rendered ated many of his followers, and perhaps were not his victory in some degree nugatory, enabled him, without their secret and unacknowledged influence on the other, under the most disadvantageous cir- upon his own feelings. cumstances, to secure his retreat, recruit his forces, The Western Chiefs in Montrose's army, almost and render himself more formidable than ever to the to a man, regarded the Marquis of Argyle as the most enemy before whom he had lately been unable to direct and proper object of hostilities. Almost all of make a stand.

them had felt his power; almost all, in withdrawing On the present occasion he threw himself into Ba- their fencible men from their own glens, left their fadenoch, and rapidly traversing that district, as well milies and properly exposed to his vengeance; all, ai che neighbouring country of Athole, he alarmed without exception, were desirous of diminishing his the Covenanteis by successive attacks upon various sovereignty; and most of them lay so near his terriunexpected points, and spread such general dismay, tories, that they might reasonably hope to be gratified that repeated orders were dispatched by the Parlia. by a share of his spoil. To these Chiefs the possesment to Argyle, their corrmander, to engage, and dis. sion of Inverary and its castle was an event infinitely perse Montrose at all rates.

more important and desirable than the capture of These commands from his superiors neither suited Edinburgh. The latter event could only afford their the haughty spint, nor the temporizing and cautious clansmen a little transitory pay or plunder; the for policy, of the nobleman to whom they were addressed. mer insured to the Chiefs themselves indemnity for He paid, accordingly, no regard to them, but limited the past, and security for the future. Besides these his efforts to intrigues among Montrose's few Low: personal reasons, the leaders, who favoured this opiland followers, inany of whom had become disgusted nion, plausibly urged, that though, at his first descent with the prospect of a Highland campaign, which ex. into the Lowlands, Montrose, might be superior to posed their persone in intolerable fatigue, and left their the enemy, yet every day's march he made from the uscates at the Covenanters' mercy. Accordingly, se- hills musi' diminish his own forces, and expose hiin veral of thein left Montrose's camp at this period.' to the accumulated superiority of any army which He was joined however, by a body of forces of more the Covenanters could collect from the Lowland lewngenial spirit, and far better adapted to the situa- vies and garrisons. On the other hand, by crushing tion in which he found himself. This reinforcement Argyle effectually, he would not only permit his preconsisted of a large body of Highlanders, wliom Col. sent western friends to bring out that proportion of kiito disnatched for that purpose had levied in Ar- their forces which they must otherwise leave at homa

[ocr errors]

CHAP. XVI.!!

A LEGEND OF MONTROSE. for protec::on of their families; but further, he would While he lay thus busied with contradictory thoughts draw to his standard several tribes already friendly and feelings, the soldier who stood sentinel upon his to his cause, but who were prevented from joining quarters announced to the Marquis that two persons him by fear of M'Callum More.

desired to speak with bis Excellency.pl These arguments, as we have already hinted, " Their names?" answered Montrose, and the found something responsive in Montrose's own bo- cause of their urgency at such a late hour." de som, not quite consonant with the general heroism On these points, the sentinel, who was one of Colof his character. The houses of Argyle and Montrose kitto's Irish men, could afford his General little infor had been, in former times, repeatedly opposed to each mation; so that Montrose, who at such a period other in war and in politics, and the superior advan- durst refuse access to no one, lest he might have been tagos acquired by the former, had made them the sub- neglecting some important intelligence, gave direcject of envy and dislike to the neighbouring family, lions, as a necessary precaution, to put the guard unwho, conscious of equal desert, had not been so der arms, and then prepared to receive his untimely richly rewarded. This was not all. The existing visiters. His groom of the chambers had scarce lightheads of these rival families had stood in the most ed a pair of torches, and Montrose himself had scarce marked opposition to each other since the conmcnce- risen from his couch, when two men entered, one ment of the present troubles.

wearing a Lowland dress, of shamoy leather worn Montrose, conscious of the superiority of his ta- almost to tatters; the other a tall upright old Highlents, and of having rendered great service to the lander, of a complexion which might be termed ironCovenanters at the beginning of the war, had ex- gray, wasted and worn by frost and tempest. pected from that party the supereminence of council What may be your commands with me, my and command, which they judged it safer to intrust friends ?" said the Marquis, his hand almost unconto the more limited faculties, and more extensive sciously seeking the but of one of his pistols; for the power, of his rival Argyle. They having awarded period, as well as the time of night, warranted susthis preference, was an injury which Montrose never picions which the good mien of his visiters was not forgave the Covenanters, and he was still less likely by any means calculated to remove.org to extend his pardon to Argyle, to whom he had been "I pray leave to congratulate you," said the Lowpostponed. He was therefore stimulated by every lander, my most noble General, and right honourafeeling of hatred which could animate a fiery temper ble lord, upon the great battles which you have in a fierce age, to seek for revenge upon the enemy of achieved since I had the fortune to be detached from nis house and person; and it is probable that these you. It was a pretty affair that tuilzie at Tipperprivate motives operatel not a little upon his mind, muir; nevertheless, if I might be permitted to counwhen he found the principal part of his followers sel". determined rather to undertake an expedition against "Before doing so," said the Marquis, "will you be the terrirories of Argyle than to take the far more pleased to let me know who is so kind as to favour decisive step of descending at once into the Low- me with his opinion ?" lands.

"Truly, my lord,” replied the man, "I shonld have Yet whatever temptation Montrose found to carry hoped that was unnecessary, seeing it is not so long into effect his attack upon Argyleshire, he could not since I took on in your service, under promise of a easily bring himself to renounce the splendid achieve commission as Majer, with half a dollar of daily pay ment of a descent upon the Lowlands. He held and half a dollar of arrears; and I am to trust your more than one council with the principal Chiefs, lordship has not forgotten my pay as well as my percombating, perhaps, his own secret inclination as son ?" well as theirs. He laid before them the extreme "My good friend, Major Dalgetty," said Montrose, difficulty of marching even a Highland army from who by this time perfectly recollected his man," the eastward into Argyleshire, through passes scarcely must consider what important things have happened practicable for shepherds and deer-stalkers, and over to put my friends' faces out of my memory, besides mountains with which even the clans lying nearest this imperfect light; but all conditions shall be kept.them did not pretend to be thoroughly acquainted. And what news from Argyleshire, my good Major? These difficulties were greatly enhanced by the sea- We have long given you up for lost, and I was now son of the year, which was now advancing towards preparing to take the most signal vengeance upon the December, when the mountain-passes, in themselves old fox who infringed the law of arms in your per so difficult, might be expected to be rendered utterly son.'

Forte impassable by snow-storms. These objections nei- "Truly, my noble lord,” said Dalgetty, "I have no ther satisfied nor silenced the Chiefs, who insisted desire that my return should put any stop to so proper upon their ancient mode of making war, by driving and becoming an intention ; verily it is in no shape the cattle, which, according to the Gaelic phrase in the Earl of Argyle's favour or mercy that I now "fed upon the grass of their enemy.” The council stand before you, and I shall be no intercessor for was dismissed late at night, and without coming to him. But my escape is, under Heaven, and the exany decision, excepting that the Chiefs, who sup- cellent dexterity which, as an old and accomplished ported the opinion that Argyle should be invaded, cavalier, I displayed in effecting the same, I say, promised to seek out among their followers those who under these, it is owing to the assistance of this old might be most capable of undertaking the office of Highlander, whom I venture to recommend to your guides upon the expedition.

lordship's special favour, as the instrument of saving Montrose had retired to the cabin which served your lordship's to command, Dugald Dalgetty of him for a tent, and stretched himself upon a bed of Drumthwacket."

aze dry fern, the only place of repose which it afforded. "A thankworthy service," said the Marquis, gravely, But he courted sleep in vain,

for the visions of ambi- "which shall certainly be requited in the manner it tion excluded those of Morpheus. In one moment deserves."

Seite he imagined himself displaying the royal banner from "Kneel down, Ranald," said Major Dalgetty, (as the reconquered Castle of Edinburgh, detaching as- we must now call him,) "kneel down, and kiss his sistance to a monarch whose crown depended upon Excellency's hand."

toy born his success, and receiving in requital all the advan- The prescribed form of acknowledgment not being tages and preferments which could be heaped upon according to the custom of Ranald's country, he conhim whom a king delighteth to hononr. At another tented himself with folding his arms on his bosom, time this dream, splendid as it was, faded before the and making a low inclination of his head. vision of gratified vengeance, and personal triumph "This poor man, my lord,” said Major Dalgettv, over a personal enemy. To surprise Argyle in his continuing his speech with a dignified air of protecstronghold of Inverary-to

crush in him at once the tion towards Ranald MacEagh," has strained all his rival of his own house and the chief support of the slender means to defend my person from mine enePresbyterians—to show the Covenanters the differ- mies, although having no better

weapons of a missile Montrose, was a picture too flattering to feudal ven- hardly believe." lama. ab 10 damco ludo ence between the preferred Argyle and the postponed sort than bows, and arrows, whilk your lordship will geance to be easily relinquished.

"You will see a great many such weapons in my

[graphic]
« VorigeDoorgaan »