Thus it was that at last only two men were left on the island, Adams and Young. The latter, who was of a quiet and studious nature, resolved to have prayers every morning and evening, and regular services on Sunday, and to teach the children, of whom there were nineteen, several of them then being between the ages of seven and nine years. Young, however, did not live long, but died of asthma about a year after the murder of Quintal.
In their beautiful island of the sea, where the lordly banyans grow, and where the feathery cocoanut palms stand boldly along the cliffs, or here and there fringe the rocky beach—for in this temperate climate just without the tropics there are but few trees and vegetables that will not grow—there, unknown for many years to the world, and far away from its busy jar and fret, the simple and kindly natures that these children of Pitcairn Island must have inherited from their Otaheitan mothers were trained to an almost perfect sense of duty and piety by old John Adams.
With a Bible and Prayer-book to aid him he persevered with his self-imposed task. It was a task that must often have cost him much labour and patient study, for though he could read he was not able to write until he was a very old man.
Though in the eyes of the law his crime can never be wiped out, in the eyes of humanity, his sincere repentance and long and tender devotion to his charge—a charge that ended only on the day of his death—will for ever render the last of the mutineers a character to be remembered with admiration and respect.
A RELATION OF THREE YEARS' SUFFERING OF ROBERT EVERARD UPON THE ISLAND OF ASSADA, NEAR MADAGASCAR, IN A VOYAGE TO INDIA, IN THE YEAR 1686
WHEN I was a boy, my father, Mr. William Everard, apprenticed me to the captain of a ship bound for Bombay in India, and thence to Madagascar, for blacks. I left London on August 5, 1686, and after different adventures on the voyage, of which I need not here speak, our ship reached Madagascar.
The King of Madagascar received us kindly enough, and promised in about a month to furnish the captain with as many negroes as he desired. This satisfied us very well, and, mooring the ship, we stayed some days, trading with the negroes for rice and hens and bananas.
Now one day the supercargo and six of the men and myself went ashore, taking guns and powder, and knives and scissors to trade with, and the ship's dog went with us. And, carrying our chest of goods to the house of one of the natives, we traded, and the negroes brought us such things as they had in exchange.
But presently we heard a great noise, and a crowd began to gather, so that we thought the King was coming. But, alas! we soon found that the people of the town had risen against us, and ten or twelve broke in with their lances, and killed five of the boat's crew and the man who took care of the boat! The supercargo, running out of the house to get to the King, was thrust through by one of these murderous natives, and died immediately. I myself, being knocked down by the fall of the others, lay among the dead like one dead.
When the blacks took them up, however, they saw I was alive, and did not kill me in cold blood, but carried me to the King's house, which was just by the house where they had killed our men, whose bodies I saw them carrying down to fling into the sea as I looked out at the King's door.
He bade me sit down, and ordered the women to bring me some boiled rice on a plantain leaf, but in my terrible condition I could not eat. At night the King's men showed me my lodging in a small hut among the slaves, where I remained till the morning.
That morning our ship sailed. All the night as she lay there she had kept firing her great guns, and one shot came into the middle of the King's house, and went through it.
But when she had sailed I saw some of the blacks with bottles of wine taken out of the great cabin, which I myself had filled the morning I went ashore. They had also the captain's sword and the ship's compass, and some great pieces of the flag tied round their waists. So I asked those negroes who understood a little English if they had killed any on board. They said 'Yes,' and told me that the blacks in a canoe that went to our ship to trade had lances hidden, and fell upon the captain and the mate, who suspected nothing, and killed them and some others of our men, but the rest had time to arm themselves, and so drove the blacks away.
I asked them also why they killed our men, and they told the King, who answered that an English ship had been before, and played the rogue with them, and killed some of the natives, and they had therefore taken revenge.
After this the King went to visit his towns, and bid me go along with him; and I went first to one place and then another, to be shown to the people. But the women when they saw me shrieked and ran away in a fright—never having seen a white man, and thinking I was a spirit.
Then the King and his army went to the other side of the island, and carried me with them and our dog, and there he began mustering together a greater army, taking more men out of every town he visited. As soon as the women saw the King and his army coming, they got their sticks and came dancing for joy. And when he came into a town a mat was laid on the ground for him to sit on. When he sat down the wife of the chief of the town came out with some white stuff upon a stone, and dipped her finger in it, and put one spot on the King's forehead, and one on each cheek, and one on his chin; and so they did to his four wives who went with him. Then, when the women had done spotting them, the captain of the town and all his men came before the King, some with great calabashes full of liquor, and he bid the captain get his men ready to go along with the army, which was done in a day's time. Thus he went from town to town.
The dog belonging to our ship went too, and when he saw any hogs, he ran and barked at them till the negroes came and killed them with their lances. And sometimes he would fetch a young pig and bring it to me.
It was six or seven weeks before they reached the town of the enemy, and rushed into it, firing and striking with their lances, and killing or taking prisoners all who did not run away. Then marching further up the country they met with the enemy's whole army; and for about a month they fought with them day after day, our side nearly always getting the better of it.
When as many prisoners had been taken as the King needed for slaves, we marched back again through the towns, and the people brought great parcels of rice made up in plantain leaves, and pots of boiled fish for the King and his men to eat with their rice. They used to sit four, and six, or eight together; they also gave me some by myself, on a plantain leaf. This they did at every town where the King came. But as I was coming back with them I was taken lightheaded, so that sometimes I fell down, and could not stir without extreme pain.
About a week after we reached our own town the King asked me if I could make powder. I told him 'No;' he then asked if I could make shot. I said 'Yes;' and he told his men to fetch some lead, and clay for the moulds, and as well as I could I made three or four hundred shot. The King was pleased with these, and while I was making them I had victuals given me, and some of their best drink.
But afterwards the King bid me go about the island with some of his men to find flint stones; and when I could find none he took no more notice of me, but turned me out of his house, and would not let me come into it any more. Then I had to seek for my own food to save myself from being starved, and it pleased God that I found such food as the natives eat—yams and potatoes, which I dug out of the earth with a piece of sharp stone, having neither knife nor any other tool. And I made fire as the natives did, rubbing together two pieces of stick, and roasted my yams, and gathered bananas and oranges and other fruit. Then sometimes I caught fish with a small, sharp-pointed stick, and crabs, and now and then a turtle. I also found turtles' eggs. I used to keep yams and potatoes by me to serve five or six days, and when they were gone I hunted for more.
My lodging was under a tree on the hard ground, where I slept for two years and nine months and sometimes in the year it would rain for three months together, or only become fine for an hour or so—yet for all that I lay under the tree still. I always had a fire on each side of me to keep me warm, because I had no covering but the branches and leaves of the tree. Sometimes in the night I crept outside the cottage of one of the natives for shelter, but I was forced to be gone before they were up for fear they would do me harm.
When I wanted water I went almost a mile for a drink, and had nothing to bring back a little water in to keep by me and drink whenever I was thirsty. Also, I had to see that there were no blacks near the water, lest they should set upon me.
Two years after I had come to the country I suffered terrible pain with sores that broke out upon me, but finding some honey in a rock by the seaside, I made a kind of salve which gave me a little ease. But now the time of my worst distress was drawing to an end.
For when I had been three years in the island there came Arabs to buy negroes, and I pleaded with them to take me away, telling them how it was that I, an English boy, was left in this condition. Then the chief merchant of the Arabs said he could not carry me away without the King's leave, for it would spoil their trade; but he would try to get me clear, and as long as the Arabian vessel lay there I might come to his house and get food and drink.
About six weeks after the merchant sent for me, and told me he had bought me of the King for twenty dollars, and that he would carry me to my own country people again.
The ship lay there about ten weeks, and when they had got all their negroes we sailed from Madagascar. But all the history of my voyaging with the Arabs, who treated me with much kindness, and sold me at last to Englishmen, would be too long to relate. When I first saw my own countrymen I had forgotten English, so that I could only speak to them in the language of Madagascar; but by the time I had been among them six or seven days my English came back, and I could tell them my story.
At last I was taken on board an English ship called the 'Diana,' and, sailing in this, I reached Yarmouth and afterwards Blackwall, where I met my father, to the great joy of us both. Thus I conclude my narrative, with humble thanks to God for His wonderful preservation of me through so many hardships and dangers.
 Taken from the Churchill Collection, 1732. Written by himself.
THE FIGHT AT SVOLDER ISLAND (A.D. 1000)
OLAF TRYGGVASON, King of Norway, had sailed with a large fleet eastwards to Wendland, passing through the Danish king's dominion without his goodwill, and was now returning thence. He sailed with a light breeze and fair weather for Denmark, the smaller ships going before, and the larger ships following behind because they needed more wind.
At an island off Wendland were gathered many great chiefs: the island is called Svolder. In this fleet was Sweyn, King of the Danes, who had many charges against King Olaf—one being that Olaf had taken to wife Sweyn's sister without his leave; another that he had established himself in Norway, a land tributary to Sweyn and subdued by King Harold his father. Earl Sigvaldi was there with the Danish king because he was his earl. And in this combined fleet was a mighty chief, Olaf the Swede, King of the Swedes, who deemed he had to avenge on King Olaf of Norway great dishonour; for he had broken betrothals with, and smitten with his glove, Olaf the Swede's mother. This same woman Sigridr Sweyn, the Danish king, had now to wife, and she was strongly urging on Sweyn to do King Olaf hurt or dishonour. With this fleet, too, was Earl Eric, Hacon's son, who deemed he had very great charges against King Olaf and his men, because they had been present at the slaying of his father, Earl Hacon, and had driven out of the land all his sons; and Olaf had established himself in the kingdom afterwards.
These chiefs had an overwhelming host, and lay in a harbour on the inner side of the island; but King Olaf's ships were sailing past outside, and the chiefs were on the high ground of the island, and saw where the fleet was sailing from the east. They saw that the small craft sailed in front.
Soon they saw a ship large and splendid. Then said King Sweyn: 'Get we to our ships with all speed; there sails Long Snake from the east.'
Answered Earl Eric: 'Bide we awhile, sire; they have more big ships than Long Snake alone.'
And so it was. This ship belonged to Styrkar of Gimsa.
Now saw they yet another ship, large and well-equipped, a ship with a figure-head.
Said King Sweyn: 'Now here will be sailing Long Snake; and take we heed that we be not too late in meeting them.'
Then answered Earl Eric: 'That will not be Long Snake; few of their big ships have passed as yet; there are many more to come.'
And it was even as the Earl said.
Now sailed a ship with striped sails, a long-ship built for speed, and much larger than the others that had gone by. And when King Sweyn saw that this ship had no figure-head on her, then stood he up and said, laughing the while: 'Olaf Tryggvason is afraid now; he dares not to sail with his dragon's head; go we and attack him.'
Answered then Earl Eric: 'That is not Olaf Tryggvason. I know the ship, for I have often seen it; it belongs to Erling Skjalgsson. And 'tis better that we go astern of him to this battle. Brave wights are on board there, as we shall surely know if we meet Olaf Tryggvason. Better is a gap in the King's fleet than a ship thus well-manned.'
Then said Olaf, the Swedish king, to the Earl: 'We ought not to fear joining battle with Olaf, though he have many ships. And it is great shame and disgrace for men to hear in other lands, if we lie by with an overwhelming host while he sails the high road of the seas outside.'
Earl Eric answered: 'Sire, let this swift long-ship pass if she will. I can tell you good tidings: that Olaf Tryggvason has not sailed by us, and this day you will have the chance of fighting with him. There are here now many chiefs, and I expect of this bout that we shall all have plenty of work.'
Still they said, when this long-ship and many craft had gone by: 'That must have been Long Snake. And Earl Eric,' said the Danes, 'will never fight to avenge his father if he do not so now.'
The Earl answered much in wrath, and said that the Danes would not be found less loath to fight than himself and his men.
They waited not long ere three ships came sailing, whereof one, by far the largest, bore a golden dragon's head. Then all said that the Earl had spoken truth, and there now was Long Snake.
Earl Eric answered: 'That is not Long Snake.' But he bade them attack if they would.
And at once Sigvaldi took his long-ship and rowed out to the ships, holding up a white shield; they, on the other hand, lowered their sails and waited. But that large ship was the Crane, steered by Thorkell Dydrill, the King's kinsman. They asked of Sigvaldi what tidings he had to tell them. He declared he could tell them tidings of Sweyn, the Danish king, which it were right Olaf Tryggvason should know—he was setting a snare for him if he were not on his guard. Then Thorkell and his men let their ship float, and waited for the King.
Then saw King Sweyn four ships of great size sailing, and one by far the largest, and on it a dragon's head conspicuous, all of gold. And they all at once said: 'A wondrous big ship and a beautiful one is the Long Snake. There will be no long-ship in the world to match her for beauty, and much glory is there in causing to be made such a treasure.'
Then said Sweyn, the Danish king, out loud: 'The Long Snake shall bear me; I shall steer it this evening before set of sun.'
Whereat Earl Eric said, but so that few men heard: 'Though Olaf Tryggvason had no more ships than may now be seen, never will Danish king steer this ship if they two and their forces have dealings together.'
Sigvaldi, when he saw where the ships were sailing, bade Thorkell Dydrill draw his ship under the island; but Thorkell said the wind sat better for them to sail out at sea than to keep under the land with large ships and light breeze. But they gathered them under the island, these last four, because they saw some of their ships rowing under the island, and suspected that there might be some new tidings; so they tacked and stood in close to the island, and lowered their sails and took to their oars. The large ship of this group was named Short Snake.
And now the chiefs saw three very large ships sailing, and a fourth last of all. Then said Earl Eric to King Sweyn and to Olaf, the Swedish king: 'Now stand ye up and to your ships; none will now deny that Long Snake sails by, and there ye may meet Olaf Tryggvason.'
Whereat silence fell on the chiefs, and none spake; and great fear was on the crews, and many a one there dreaded his bane.
Olaf Tryggvason saw where his men had laid them under the island, and, feeling sure that they must have heard some tidings, he also turned these ships inwards to the island, and they lowered sail. Earl Sigvaldi steered his ship inwards along the island to meet the fleet of the other kings that was coming out from the harbour inside. Therefore sang Stefnir about Sigvaldi, the foul traitor who drew Tryggvason into a trap.
Sweyn, the Danish king, and Olaf, the Swedish king, and Earl Eric had made this agreement between them, that, if they slew Olaf Tryggvason, he of them who should be nearest at the time should own the ship and all the share of booty taken in the battle; but of the realm of the Norse king they should each have a third.
Then saw Olaf Tryggvason and all his men that they were betrayed, for lo the whole sea about them was covered with ships; but Olaf had a small force, as his fleet had sailed on before him. And now lay in his place each one of those three chiefs, Sweyn, King of Danes, with his force; Olaf, King of Swedes, with his host; while in the third place Earl Eric set his men in array.
Then talked with King Olaf a wise man, Thorkell Dydrill, and said: 'Here are overwhelming odds to fight against. Hoist we our sails, and sail we after our fleet out to sea; for in no man is it cowardice to know his own measure.'
King Olaf answered with loud voice: 'Bind we our ships together with ropes, and let men don their war apparel and draw their swords; my men must not think of flight.'
And Olaf Tryggvason asked his men: 'Who is chief over this force that lies here nearest to us?'
'We think it be Sweyn, King of Danes.'
Then said King Olaf: 'We need not fear that force; never did Danes win victory in battle when fighting on shipboard against Norsemen.'
Again asked King Olaf: 'Who lies there out beyond with so many ships?'
He was told that it was Olaf Ericsson, King of Swedes.
Then answered King Olaf: 'We need not fear Swedish horse-eaters; they will be more eager to lick up what is in their sacrificial bowls than to board Long Snake under our weapons.'
And yet again asked King Olaf Tryggvason: 'Who owns those large ships that lie out beyond the other squadrons?'
He was told that it was Earl Eric, Hacon's son, with the Iron Earn, of all ships the largest.
Then said King Olaf: 'Many high-born men are arrayed against us in that host, and with that force we may expect a stubborn battle: they are Norsemen as are we, and have often seen bloody swords and exchange of blows, and they will think they meet their match in us, as in truth they do.'
So these four chiefs, two kings and two earls, joined battle with Olaf Tryggvason. Sigvaldi indeed took little part in the fight, but Skuli Thorsteinsson in his short poem says that Sigvaldi was there. Very sharp and bloody was this contest, and the Danes fell most because they were nearest the Norsemen. Soon they did not hold their ground, but withdrew out of shot range; and this fleet, as Olaf had said, came off with no glory. But none the less the battle raged fierce and long, and numbers fell on either side—of the Swedes, however, most—till it came about that Olaf the Swede saw this to be the best counsel for himself and his fleet, to make as if they shunned the fight. And so he bade his ships drop away sternwards; and then Earl Eric lay broadside on.
King Olaf Tryggvason had laid the Long Snake between Short Snake and the Crane, and the smallest ships outside them. But Earl Eric, as each of these was disabled, caused it to be cut away, and pressed on to those that were behind. Now, when the small ships of King Olaf were cleared, the men leapt from them and went up on the larger ships. There was in this bout much loss of life in either party; but ever, as men fell in Earl Eric's ships, others took their place, Swedes and Danes; whereas none took the place of the men who fell on Olaf's side. All his ships were cleared presently except Long Snake; this held out because it was highest inboard and best manned. And while there were men to do so, they had gone thither aboard, and though some of the crew had perished, the ship had maintained its full numbers. But when Short Snake and Crane were disabled, then Earl Eric had them cut away, and thereafter Iron Ram lay broadside to broadside with Long Snake.
This battle was so stubborn as to stir wonder, first for the brave attack, but still more for the defence. When ships made at the Snake from all sides yet the defenders so hasted to meet them that they even stepped over the bulwarks into the sea and sank with their weapons, heedless of all else save, as in a land fight, to press ever forwards.
The men fell there first in the ship's waist, where the board was lowest, while forward about the prow and aft in the space next the poop they held out longest. And when Earl Eric saw that the Snake was defenceless amidships he boarded it with fifteen men. But when Wolf the Red and other forecastlemen saw that, then they advanced from the forecastle and charged so fiercely on where the Earl was that he had to fall back to his ship. And when he came on board the Ram the Earl roused his men to attack bravely; and they boarded the Snake a second time with a large force.
By this time Wolf and all the forecastlemen had come to the poop, and all the foreship was disabled, Earl Eric's force attacking King Olaf's on every side. Earl Eric with his men then charged aft on the space next the poop, and a stubborn resistance was there. King Olaf had been all that day on the poop of the Snake; he bare a golden shield and helm, heavy ring-mail, strong so that nought could pierce it, though 'tis said that there was no stint of missiles showered on the poop, for all men knew the King, as his armour was easily recognised and he stood high on the stern-castle. And by him stood Kolbjorn, his marshal, clad in armour like to the King's.
Now, this battle went as might be looked for when brave men on both sides met: those lost who were fewer in numbers. And when all King Olaf's force had fallen, then leapt he overboard himself, holding his shield above his head; and so did Kolbjorn, his marshal, but his shield was under him on the sea, and he could not manage to dive, wherefore the men who were in the small ships took him, but he received quarter from the Earl. And after this all leapt overboard who yet lived; but most of these were wounded, and those who received quarter were taken as they swam: these were Thorkell Netja, Karlshead, Thorstein, and Einar Bowstring-shaker.
But after the battle was ended Earl Eric took for his own Long Snake and the other ships of King Olaf, and the weapons of many men who had wielded them manfully to the death.
Most famous has been this battle in Northland; first by reason of the brave defence, next for the attack and victory, wherein that ship was overcome on the deep sea which all had deemed invincible, but chiefly because there fell a chief famous beyond any of the Danish tongue. So greatly did men admire King Olaf and seek his friendship, that many would not hear of his being dead, but declared that he was yet alive in Wendland or in the south region. And about that many stories have been made.
 The Swedes were still heathens, and ate horses, meat then forbidden to Christians.
THE DEATH OF HACON THE GOOD (A.D. 961)
[Eric Bloodaxe, Harold Fairhair's favourite son, ruled Norway for a year or so after his father's death. Then he and his queen Gunnhilda became so hated by the people that they welcomed as king his brother Hacon, who returned from England, where he had been brought up. Eric was forced to flee. For some time he was in Northumberland; he fell in the west while freebooting, about A.D. 950. Gunnhilda and her sons went to Denmark; they made many attempts to recover Norway; the issue of the last is here told.]
KING HACON, Athelstan's foster-son, long ruled over Norway; but in the latter part of his life Eric's sons came to Norway, and strove with him for the kingdom. They had battles together, wherein Hacon ever won the victory. The last battle was fought in Hordaland, on Stord Island, at Fitjar: there Hacon won the victory, but also got his death-wound.
And this battle came about in this wise. Gunnhilda's sons sailed northward from Denmark, taking the outer way, nor came they to land oftener than for men to get knowledge of their goings, while they also got knowledge of the public banquets given to King Hacon. They had ships well-found in men and weapons; and in their company was a mighty viking named Eyvind Skreyja; he was a brother of Queen Gunnhilda.
Hacon was at a banquet at Fitjar on Stord Island when they came thither; but he and all his men were unaware of their coming till the ships were sailing up from the south and had now gotten close to the island. King Hacon was even then sitting at table.
Now came a rumour to the King's guard that ships were seen sailing; wherefore some who were keenest of sight went out to look. And each said to his fellows that this would be an enemy, and each bade other to tell the King; but for this task none was found save Eyvind Finnsson, who was nicknamed Skald-spoiler.
He went in before the King, and spake thus: 'Fleeting hour is short, sire, but meal-time long.'
Said the King: 'Skald, what news?'
'Vengers ('tis said) of Bloodaxe crave The battle-shock of belted glaive; Our sitting-time is done. Hard task, but 'tis thine honour, King, I seek, who here war tidings bring. Arm swiftly, every one!'
Then answered the King: 'Eyvind, thou art a brave wight and a wise; thou wouldst not tell war tidings unless they were true.' Whereupon all said that this was true, that ships were sailing that way, and within short space of the island. And at once the tables were taken up, and the King went out to see the fleet.
But when he had seen it he called to him his counsellors, and asked what should be done.
'Here be sailing many ships from the south: we have a force small but goodly. Now, I wish not to lead my best friends into overwhelming danger; but surely would be willing to flee, if wise men should not deem that this were great shame or folly.'
Then made answer each to other that everyone would rather fall dead across his fellow than flee before Danes.
Whereat the King said: 'Well spoken for heroes as ye are! And let each take his weapons, nor care how many Danes there be to one Norseman.'
Thereafter the King took his shield, and donned his coat of ring-mail, and girded him with the sword Millstone-biter, and set a golden helm on his head. Then did he marshal his force, putting together his bodyguard and the guests of the feast.
Gunnhilda's sons now came up on land, and they likewise marshalled their force, and it was by far the larger. The day was hot and sunny; so King Hacon slipped off his mail coat and raised his helm, and egged on his men to the onset laughing, and thus cheered his warriors by his blithe bearing. Then the fight began, and it was most stubborn. When the missiles were all thrown, King Hacon drew sword and stood in front under the banner, and hewed right and left; never did he miss, or, if he missed his man, the sword bit another.
Eyvind Skreyja went fiercely forward in the battle, challenging the Norsemen's courage. And chiefly pressed he on where Hacon's banner was, crying, 'Where is the Norsemen's king? Why doth he hide him? Why dares he not come forth and show himself? Who can point me to him?'
Then answered King Hacon: 'Hold thou on forward, if thou wilt find the Norsemen's king.'
And Hacon cast his shield by his side, and gripped his sword's mid-hilt with both hands, and ran forth from under the banner.
But Thoralf Skumsson said, 'Suffer me, sire, to go against Eyvind.'
The King answered: 'Me he wished to find; wherefore me he shall first meet.' But when the King came where Eyvind was, he hewed on either side of him, and then, with Millstone-biter in both hands, hewed at Eyvind's head, and clove him through helm and head right down to the shoulders.
This battle was not good for men weak in strength, weapons, or courage. Nor was it long after the fall of Eyvind Skreyja ere the whole Danish force turned and fled to their ships. Great numbers fell on the side of Eric's sons; but they themselves escaped.
King Hacon's men followed them far that day, and slew all whom they might; but the King bade his swift ship be launched, and rowed northwards along the coast, meaning to seek his house at Alrekstead, for he had gotten a wound by an arrow that pierced his arm while he drove before him the flying foe. And he lost so much blood that he swooned away. And when he came to the place called Hacon's Stone (it was where he was born), there he stayed for the night, bidding his land tent be set up and himself be carried ashore.
And as soon as King Hacon knew that his wound was mortal, he called to him his counsellors, and talked at large with his friends about those things that had been done in his days. And of this he then repented, that he had done much against God and Christian men's laws during his rule.
His friends offered to convey his body westwards to England, and bury it there in Church ground.
But the King answered: 'Of this I am not worthy; I lived as heathen men live, so, too, shall ye bury me.'
He bewailed the quarrels of himself and his kin; and having but one daughter, a child, and no son, he sent a letter to Gunnhilda's sons, wherein it was written that he gave to his kinsman Harold Grayfell his guard and his kingdom.
After this King Hacon died: he had ruled Norway for twenty-six years. He was mourned both by friends and foes. As Eyvind Skald-spoiler says:
'The King is born in blessed day Such love who gains: Of his fair age ever and aye Good fame remains.'
His men carried his body to Soeheim in North Hordaland, and raised a mound over it.
PRINCE CHARLIE'S WAR
THE BOYHOOD OF PRINCE CHARLIE
IN 1734 the city of Gaeta, in the kingdom of Naples, was held by an Austrian force, and was besieged by a mixed army of French, Walloons, Spaniards, and Italians, commanded by the Duke of Liria. Don Carlos, a Spanish prince, was doing his best, by their aid, to conquer the kingdom of Naples for himself. There is now no kingdom of Naples: there are no Austrian forces in Italy, and there is certainly, in all the armies of Europe, no such officer as was fighting under the Duke of Liria. This officer, in the uniform of a general of artillery, was a slim, fair-haired, blue-eyed boy of thirteen. He seemed to take a pleasure in the sound of the balls that rained about the trenches. When the Duke of Liria's quarters had been destroyed by five cannon shots, this very young officer was seen to enter the house, and the duke entreated, but scarcely commanded, him to leave. The boy might be heard shouting to the men of his very mixed force in all their various languages. He was the darling of the camp, and the favourite of the men, for his courage and pleasant manners.
This pretty boy with a taste for danger, Charles Edward Stuart, was called by his friends 'the Prince of Wales.' He was, indeed, the eldest son of James VIII. of Scotland and Third of England, known to his enemies as 'the Pretender.' James, again, was the son of James II., and was a mere baby when, in 1688, his father fled from England before the Prince of Orange.
The child (the son of James II.) grew up in France: he charged the English armies in Flanders, and fought not without distinction. He invaded Scotland in 1715, where he failed, and now, for many years, he had lived in Rome, a pensioner of the Pope. James was an unfortunate prince, but is so far to be praised that he would not change his creed to win a crown. He was a devout Catholic—his enemies said 'a bigoted Papist'—he was the child of bad luck from his cradle; he had borne many disappointments, and he was never the man to win back a kingdom by the sword. He had married a Polish princess, of the gallant House of Sobieski, and at Gaeta his eldest son, though only a boy, showed that he had the courage of the Sobieskis and the charm of the Stuarts. The spies of the English Government confessed that the boy was more dangerous than the man, Prince Charles than King James.
While Charles, at Gaeta, was learning the art of war, and causing his cousin, the Duke of Liria, to pass some of the uneasiest moments of his life, at home in Rome his younger brother Henry, Duke of York, aged nine, was so indignant with his parents for not allowing him to go to the war with his brother, that he flung away his little sword in a temper. From their cradle these boys had thought and heard of little else but the past glories of their race; it was the dream of their lives to be restored to their own country. In all he did, the thought was always uppermost with Charles. On the way from Gaeta to Naples, leaning over the ship's side, the young Prince lost his hat; immediately a boat was lowered in the hope of saving it, but Charles stopped the sailors, saying with a peculiar smile, 'I shall be obliged before long to go and fetch myself a hat in England.'
Every thought, every study, every sport that occupied the next few years of Charles' life in Rome, had the same end, namely, preparing himself in every way for the task of regaining his kingdom. Long days of rowing on the lake of Albano, and boar-hunting at Cisterna, made him strong and active. He would often make marches in shoes without stockings, hardening his feet for the part he played afterwards on many a long tramp in the Highlands. Instead of enjoying the ordinary effeminate pleasures of the Roman nobility, he shot and hunted; and in the Borghese Gardens practised that royal game of golf, which his ancestors had played long before on the links at St. Andrews and the North Inch of Perth. His more serious studies were, perhaps, less ardently pursued. Though no prince ever used a sword more gallantly and to more purpose, it cannot be denied that he habitually spelled it 'sord,' and though no son ever wrote more dutiful and affectionate letters to a father, he seldom got nearer the correct spelling of his parent's name than 'Gems. In lonely parts of Rome the handsome lad and his melancholy father might often have been seen talking eagerly and confidentially, planning, and for ever planning, that long-talked-of descent upon their lost kingdom.
If his thoughts turned constantly to Britain, many hearts in that country were thinking of him with anxious prayers and hopes. In England, in out-of-the-way manor-houses and parsonages, old-fashioned, high-church squires and clergymen still secretly toasted the exiled family. But in the fifty years that had passed since the Revolution, men had got used to peace and the blessings of a settled government. Jacobitism in England was a sentiment, hereditary in certain Tory families; it was not a passion to stir the hearts of the people and engage them in civil strife. It was very different with the Scots. The Stuarts were, after all, their old race of kings; once they were removed and unfortunate, their tyranny was forgotten, and the old national feeling centred round them. The pride of the people had suffered at the Union (1707); the old Scots nobility felt that they had lost in importance; the people resented the enforcement of new taxes. The Presbyterians of the trading classes were Whigs; but the persecuted Episcopalians and Catholics, with the mob of Edinburgh, were for 'the auld Stuarts back again.' This feeling against the present Government and attachment to the exiled family were especially strong among the fierce and faithful people of the Highlands. Among families of distinction, like the Camerons of Lochiel, the Oliphants of Gask, and many others, Jacobitism formed part of the religion of gallant, simple-minded gentlemen and of high-spirited, devoted women. In many a sheiling and farmhouse old broadswords and muskets, well-hidden from the keen eye of the Government soldiers, were carefully cherished against the brave day when 'the king should have his own again.'
In 1744 that day seemed to have dawned to which Charles had all his life been looking forward. France, at war with England, was preparing an invasion of that country, and was glad enough to use the claims of the Stuarts for her own purposes. A fleet was actually on the point of starting, and Charles, in the highest spirits, was already on shipboard, but the English admiral was alert. A storm worked havoc among the French ships, and it suited the French Government to give up the expedition. Desperate with disappointment, Charles proposed to his father's friend, the exiled Lord Marischall, to sail for Scotland by himself in a herring-boat, and was hurt and indignant when the old soldier refused to sanction such an audacious plan.
Charles had seen enough of hanging about foreign courts and depending on their wavoring policy; he was determined to strike a blow for himself. In Paris he was surrounded by restless spirits like his own; Scots and Irish officers in the French service, and heart-broken exiles like old Tullibardine, eager for any chance that would restore them to their own country. Even prudent men of business lent themselves to Charles's plans. His bankers in Paris advanced him 180,000 livres for the purchase of arms, and of two Scottish merchants at Nantes, Walsh and Routledge, one undertook to convey him to Scotland in a brig of eighteen guns, the 'Doutelle,' while the other chartered a French man-of-war, the 'Elizabeth,' to be the convoy, and to carry arms and ammunition. To provide these Charles had pawned his jewels, jewels which 'on this side I could only wear with a very sad heart,' he wrote to his father; for the same purpose he would gladly have pawned his shirt. On June 22 he started from the mouth of the Loire in all haste and secrecy, only writing for his father's blessing and sanction when he knew it would be too late for any attempt to be made to stop him. The companions of his voyage were the old Marquis of Tullibardine, who had been deprived of his dukedom of Athol in the '15; the Prince's tutor and cousin, Sir Thomas Sheridan, a rather injudicious Irishman; two other Irishmen in the French and Spanish services; Kelly, a young English divine; and Aeneas Macdonald, a banker in Paris, and younger brother of the chieftain Macdonald of Kinloch Moidart, a prudent young man, who saw himself involved in the Prince's cause very much against his will and better judgment.
PRINCE CHARLIE'S LANDING
ENGLAND and France being at war at this time, the Channel was constantly swept by English men-of-war. The 'Doutelle' and her convoy were hardly four days out before the 'Elizabeth' was attacked by an English frigate, the 'Lion.' Knowing who it was he had on board, Walsh, the prudent master of the 'Doutelle,' would by no means consent to join in the fray, and sheered off to the north in spite of the commands and remonstrances of the Prince. The unfortunate 'Elizabeth' was so much disabled that she had to return to Brest, taking with her most of the arms and ammunition for the expedition. At night the 'Doutelle' sailed without a light and kept well out to sea, and so escaped further molestation. The first land they sighted was the south end of the Long Island. Gazing with eager eyes on the Promised Land, old Lord Tullibardine was the first to notice a large Hebridean eagle which flew above the ship as they approached. 'Sir,' he said, 'it is a good omen; the king of birds has come to welcome your royal highness to Scotland.'
Charles had need of all happy auguries, for on his arrival in Scotland things did not seem very hopeful. With his usual rash confidence he had very much exaggerated the eagerness of his friends and supporters to welcome him in whatever guise he might come. Never had fallen kings more faithful and unselfish friends than had the exiled Stuarts in the Highland chiefs and Jacobite lairds of Scotland, but even they were hardly prepared to risk life and property with a certainty of failure and defeat. Let the Prince appear with 5,000 French soldiers and French money and arms, and they would gather round him with alacrity, but they were prudent men and knew too well the strength of the existing Government to think that they could overturn it unaided.
The first man to tell the Prince this unwelcome truth was Macdonald of Boisdale, to whom he sent a message as soon as he landed in Uist. This Boisdale was brother of the old Clanranald, chief of the loyal clan Macdonald of Clanranald. If these, his stoutest friends, hesitated to join his expedition Charles should have felt that his cause was desperate indeed. But his mind was made up with all the daring of his five-and-twenty years, and all the ill-fated obstinacy of his race. For hours he argued with the old Highlander as the ship glided over the waters of the Minch. He enumerated the friends he could count on, among them the two most powerful chiefs of the North, Macdonald of Sleat, and the Macleod. 'They have both declared for the existing Government,' was the sad reply. Before taking leave of the Prince, Boisdale again urged his returning 'home.' 'I am come home,' replied Charles passionately, 'and can entertain no notion of returning. I am persuaded that my faithful Highlanders will stand by me.'
On July 19 the 'Doutelle' cast anchor in Loch na-Nuagh, in the country of the loyal Macdonalds. The first thing Charles did was to send a letter to the young Clanranald to beg his immediate presence. The next day four of the chief men of the clan waited on Charles, Clanranald, Kinloch Moidart, Glenaladale, and another who has left us a lively picture of the meeting. For three hours, in a private interview, Clanranald tried in vain to dissuade the Prince. Then Charles—still preserving his incognito—appeared among the assembled gentlemen on deck. 'At his first appearance I found my heart swell to my very throat 'writes the honest gentleman who narrates the story. His emotion was fully shared by a younger brother of Kinloch Moidart's who stood on deck silent from youth and modesty, but with his whole heart looking out of his eyes. His brother and the other chiefs walked up and down the deck arguing and remonstrating with Charles, proving the hopelessness of the undertaking. As he listened to their talk the boy's colour came and went, his hand involuntarily tightened on his sword. Charles caught sight of the eager young face, and, turning suddenly towards him cried, 'Will you not assist me?' 'I will, I will; though not another man in the Highlands should draw a sword, I will die for you.' Indeed, years after all had failed, young Clanranald prepared a new rising, and had 9,000 stand of arms concealed in the caves of Moidart.
The boy's words were like flint to tinder. Before they left the ship the hesitating chieftains had pledged themselves to risk property, influence, freedom, and life itself in the Prince's cause. These gallant Macdonalds were now willing to run all risks in receiving the Prince even before a single other clan had declared for him. Old Macdonald of Boisdale entertained Charles as an honoured guest in his bare but hospitable Highland house. All the people of the district crowded to see him as he sat at dinner. The young Prince delighted all present by his geniality and the interest he showed in everything Highland, and when he insisted on learning enough Gaelic to propose the king's health in their native language, the hearts of the simple and affectionate people were completely gained.
Meanwhile young Clanranald had gone to Skye to try and persuade Macleod and Sir Alexander Macdonald to join the Prince. It was all in vain; these two powerful chiefs were too deeply committed to the Government. Next to these two, the most influential man in the Highlands was Cameron of Locheil. Indeed, such was the respect felt by all his neighbours for his gentle and chivalrous character, that there was no one whose example would carry such weight. It was all-important to gain him to the cause. No one saw more clearly than Locheil the hopelessness of the undertaking, no one was more unwilling to lead his clansmen to what he knew was certain destruction. He would see the Prince, he said, and warn him of the danger and entreat him to return. 'Write to him,' urged Locheil's brother, 'but do not see him. I know you better than you know yourself. If this Prince once sets eyes on you he will make you do whatever he pleases.' It was but too true a prophecy. When all argument had failed to move Locheil's prudent resolution, Charles exclaimed passionately, 'In a few days, with a few friends, I will raise the Royal Standard and proclaim to the people of Britain that Charles Stuart is come over to claim the crown of his ancestors, to win it or perish in the attempt. Locheil, who, my father has often told me, was our firmest friend, may stay at home and learn from the newspapers the fate of his Prince.' It was more than the proud, warm heart of the chief could stand. 'No,' he cried with emotion, 'I will share the fate of my Prince, and so shall every man over whom nature and fortune has given me any power.'
Even before the Royal Standard was raised an unexpected success crowned the rebel arms. The Government had troops stationed both at Fort Augustus and Fort William. The latter being in the heart of the disaffected district, the commanding officer at Fort Augustus despatched two companies of newly-raised men to its assistance. This body, under a Captain Scott, was approaching the narrow bridge which crossed the Spean some seven miles from Fort William; all at once a body of Highlanders appeared, occupying the bridge and barring further passage. Had the troops plucked up courage enough to advance they would have found only some dozen Macdonalds; but the wild sound of the pipes, the yells of the Highlanders, and their constant movement which gave the effect of a large body, struck terror into the hearts of the recruits; they wavered and fell back, and their officer, though himself a brave man, had to order a retreat. But the sound of firing had attracted other bodies of Macdonalds and Camerons in the neighbourhood. All at once the steep, rough hillside seemed alive with armed Highlanders; from rock and bush they sprung up, startling the echoes by their wild shouts. In vain the disordered troops hurried along the road and rushed across the isthmus to the further side of the lakes; there a new party of Macdonalds, led by Keppoch, met them in front, and the whole body surrendered with hardly a blow struck. They were carried prisoners to Locheil's house, Achnacarry. In default of medical aid, the wounded captain was sent to Fort William, in that spirit of generous courtesy which characterised all Charles's behaviour to his defeated enemies.
On August 19 the Royal Standard was raised at Glenfinnan, a deep rocky valley between Loch Eil and Loch Sheil, where the Prince's monument now stands. Charles, with a small body of Macdonalds, was the first to arrive, early in the morning. He and his men rowed up the long narrow Loch Sheil. The valley was solitary—not a far-off bagpipe broke the silence, not a figure appeared against the skyline of the hills. With sickening anxiety the small party waited, while the minutes dragged out their weary length. At last, when suspense was strained to the utmost, about two in the afternoon, a sound of pipes was heard, and a body of Camerons under Lochiel appeared over the hill, bringing with them the prisoners made at the Bridge of Spean. Others followed: Stewarts of Appin, Macdonalds of Glencoe and Keppoch, till at least 1,500 were present. Then the honoured veteran of the party, old Tullibardine, advanced in solemn silence and unfurled the royal banner, with the motto Tandem Triumphans. As its folds of white, blue, and red silk blew out on the hill breeze, huzzas rent the air, and the sky was darkened by the bonnets that were flung up. An English officer, a prisoner taken at Spean, stood by, an unwilling spectator of the scene. 'Go, sir,' cried the Prince in exultation, 'go to your general; tell him what you have seen, and say that I am coming to give him battle.'
THE MARCH SOUTH
FOR a full month Prince Charles had been in Scotland. During that time a body of men, amounting to a small army, had collected round him; his manifestoes had been scattered all over the country (some were even printed in Edinburgh), and yet the Government had taken no steps to oppose him. News travelled slowly from the Highlands; it was August 9 before any certain account of the Prince's landing was received in Edinburgh. One bad fruit of the Union was that Scotch questions had to be settled in London, and London was three days further away. Moreover, at that greater distance, men had more difficulty in realising the gravity of the situation. Conflicting rumours distracted the authorities in Edinburgh; now it was declared that the Prince had landed with 10,000 French soldiers, at another time men ridiculed the idea of his getting a single man to rise for him. Those who knew the country best took the matter most seriously. The question of defence was not an easy one. At that time almost all the available British troops were in Flanders, fighting the French; the soldiers that were left in Scotland were either old veterans, fit only for garrison duty, newly raised companies whose mettle was untried, or local militias which were not to be trusted in all cases. If the great lords who had raised and who commanded them chose to declare for the Stuarts, they would carry their men with them.
The commander-in-chief, Sir John Cope, was not the man to meet so sudden and so peculiar a crisis. He had nothing of a real general's love of responsibility and power of decision. To escape blame and to conduct a campaign according to the laws of war was all the old campaigner cared for. When it was decided that he was to march with all the available forces in Scotland into the Highlands he willingly obeyed, little guessing what a campaign in the Highlands meant. Almost at once it was found that it would be impossible to provide food for horses as well as men. So the dragoons under Colonel Gardiner were left at Stirling. We shall hear of them again. But his 1,500 infantry were weighted heavily enough; a small herd of black cattle followed the army to provide them with food, and more than 100 horses carried bread and biscuit. Confident that the loyal clans would come in hundreds to join his standard, Cope carried 700 stand of arms. By the time he reached Crieff, however, not a single volunteer had come in, and the stand of arms was sent back. Cope followed one of the great military roads which led straight to Fort Augustus, and had been made thirty years before by General Wade. Now across that road, some ten miles short of the fort, lies a high precipitous hill, called Corryarack. Up this mountain wall the road is carried in seventeen sharp zigzags; so steep is it that the country people call it the 'Devil's Staircase.' Any army holding the top of the pass would have an ascending enemy at its mercy, let alone an army of Highlanders, accustomed to skulk behind rock and shrub, and skilled to rush down the most rugged hillsides with the swiftness and surefootedness of deer.
While still some miles distant, Cope learned that the Highlanders were already in possession of Corryarack. The rumour was premature, but it thoroughly alarmed the English general. He dared not attempt the ascent; to return south was against his orders. A council of war, hastily summoned, gave him the advice he wished for, and on the 28th the army had turned aside and was in full retreat on Inverness.
Meanwhile, the Prince's army was pressing forward to meet Cope. The swiftest-footed soldiers that ever took the field, the Highlanders were also the least heavily-weighted. A bag of oatmeal on his back supplied each man's need, Charles himself burned his baggage and marched at the head of his men as light of foot and as stout of heart as the best of them. On the morning of the 27th they were to ascend Corryarack. The Prince was in the highest spirits. As he laced his Highland brogues he cried, 'Before I take these off I shall have fought with Mr. Cope!' Breathless the Highland army reached the top of the hill; they had gained that point of vantage. Eagerly they looked down the zigzags on the further side; to their amazement not a man was to be seen, their road lay open before them! When they learned from deserters the course Cope's army had taken, they were as much disappointed as triumphant.
A body of Highlanders was despatched to try and take the barracks at Ruthven, where twelve soldiers, under a certain Sergeant Molloy, held the fort for the Government. This man showed a spirit very different from that of his superior officer's. This is his own straightforward account of the attack and repulse:
'Noble General,—They summoned me to surrender, but I told him I was too old a soldier to part with so strong a place without bloody noses. They offered me honourable terms of marching out bag and baggage, which I refused. They threatened to hang me and my party. I said I would take my chance. They set fire to the sally-port which I extinguished; and failing therein, went off asking leave to take their dead man, which I granted.'
Honour to Molloy, whatever the colour of his cockade!
Though unsuccessful at Ruthven, some members of this party, before rejoining the Prince's army at Dalwhinnie, made an important capture. Macpherson of Cluny was one of the most distinguished chiefs in the Highlands, ruling his clan with a firm hand, and repressing all thieving amongst them. As captain of an independent company, he held King George's commission; his honour kept him faithful to the Government, but his whole heart was on the other side. He was taken prisoner in his own house by a party 'hardly big enough to take a cow,' and once a prisoner in the Highland army, it was no difficult task to persuade him to take service with the Prince.
The army now descended into the district of Athol. With curious emotion old Tullibardine approached his own house of Blair from which he had been banished thirty years before. The brother who held his titles and properties fled before the Highland army, and the noble old exile had the joy of entertaining his Prince in his own halls. The Perthshire lairds were almost all Jacobites. Here at Blair, and later at Perth, gentlemen and their following flocked to join the Prince.
One of the most important of these was Tullibardine's brother, Lord George Murray, an old soldier who had been 'out in the '15.' He had real genius for generalship, and moreover understood the Highlanders and their peculiar mode of warfare. He was no courtier, and unfortunately his blunt, hot-tempered, plain speaking sometimes ruffled the Prince, too much accustomed to the complacency of his Irish followers. But all that was to come later. On the march south there were no signs of divided counsels. The command of the army was gladly confided to Lord George.
Another important adherent who joined at this time was the Duke of Perth, a far less able man than Lord George, but endeared to all his friends by his gentleness and courage and modesty. Brought up in France by a Catholic mother, he was an ardent Jacobite, and the first man to be suspected by the authorities. As soon as the news spread that the Prince had landed in the West, the Government sent an officer to arrest the young duke. There was a peculiar treachery in the way this was attempted. The officer, a Mr. Campbell of Inverawe, invited himself to dinner at Drummond Castle, and, after being hospitably entertained, produced his warrant. The duke retained his presence of mind, appeared to acquiesce, and, with habitual courtesy, bowed his guest first out of the room; then suddenly shut the door, turned the key and made his escape through an ante-room, a backstairs, and a window, out into the grounds. Creeping from tree to tree he made his way to a paddock where he found a horse, without a saddle but with a halter. He mounted, and the animal galloped off. In this fashion he reached the house of a friend, where he lay hid till the time he joined the Prince.
No Jacobite family had a nobler record of services rendered to the Stuarts than the Oliphants of Gask. The laird had been 'out in the '15,' and had suffered accordingly, but he did not hesitate a moment to run the same risks in the '45. He brought with him to Blair his high-spirited boy, young Lawrence, who records his loyal enthusiasm in a journal full of fine feeling and bad spelling! Indeed, one may say that bad spelling was, like the 'white rose,' a badge of the Jacobite party. Mistress Margaret Oliphant, who with her mother and sisters donned the white cockade and waited on their beloved Prince at her aunt's, Lady Nairne's, house, also kept a journal wherein she regrets in ill-spelt, fervent words that being 'only a woman' she cannot carry the Prince's banner. This amiable and honourable family were much loved among their own people. 'Oliphant is king to us' was a by-word among retainers who had lived on their land for generations. But at this crisis the shrewd, prosperous Perthshire farmers refused to follow their landlord on such a desperate expedition. Deeply mortified and indignant, the generous, hot-tempered old laird forbade his tenants to gather in the harvest which that year was early and abundant. As Charles rode through the Gask fields he noticed the corn hanging over-ripe and asked the cause. As soon as he was told, he jumped from his horse, cut a few blades with his sword and, in his gracious princely way, exclaimed 'There, I have broken the inhibition! Now every man may gather in his own.' It was acts like this that gained the hearts of gentle and simple alike, and explain that passionate affection for Charles that remained with many to the end of their days as part of their religion. The strength of this feeling still touches our hearts in many a Jacobite song. 'I pu'ed my bonnet ower my eyne, For weel I loued Prince Charlie,' and the yearning refrain, 'Better loued ye canna be, Wull ye no come back again?' On the 3rd Charles entered Perth, at the head of a body of troops, in a handsome suit of tartan, but with his last guinea in his pocket! However, requisitions levied on Perth and the neighbouring towns did much to supply his exchequer, and it was with an army increased in numbers and importance, as well as far better organised—thanks to Lord G. Murray—that Charles a week later continued his route to Edinburgh. Having no artillery the Highland army avoided Stirling, crossed the Forth at the Fords of Frew entirely unopposed, and marched to Linlithgow, where they expected to fight with Gardiner's dragoons. That body however did not await their arrival, but withdrew to Corstorphine, a village two miles from Edinburgh.
The next halt of the Prince's army was at Kirkliston. In the neighbourhood lay the house of New Liston, the seat of Lord Stair, whose father was so deeply and disgracefully implicated in the massacre of Glencoe. It was remembered that a grandson of the murdered Macdonald was in the army with the men of his clan. Fearing that they would seize this opportunity of avenging their cruel wrong, the general proposed placing a guard round the house. Macdonald hearing this proposal, went at once to the Prince. 'It is right,' he said, 'that a guard should be placed round the house of New Liston, but that guard must be furnished by the Macdonalds of Glencoe. If they are not thought worthy of this trust they are not fit to bear arms in your Royal Highness' cause, and I must withdraw them from your standard.' The passion for revenge may be strong in the heart of the Highlander, but the love of honour and the sense of loyalty are stronger still. The Macdonalds, as we shall see, carried their habit of taking their own way to a fatal extent.
MEANWHILE nothing could exceed the panic that had taken possession of the town of Edinburgh. The question of the hour was, could the city be defended at all, and if so, could it, in case of siege, hold out till Cope might be expected with his troops? That dilatory general, finding nothing to do in the North, was returning to Edinburgh by sea, and might be looked for any day. There could be no question of the strength of the Castle. It was armed and garrisoned, and no army without large guns need attempt to attack it. But with the town it was different. The old town of Edinburgh, as everybody knows, is built along the narrow ridge of a hill running from the hollow of Holyrood, in constant ascent, up to the Castle rock. On each side narrow wynds and lanes descend down steep slopes, on the south side to the Grassmarket and the Cowgate, on the north—at the time of which we write—the sides of the city sloped down to a lake called the Norloch, a strong position, had the city been properly fortified. More than two hundred years before, in the desolate and anxious days that followed Flodden, the magistrates of the city, hourly expecting to be invaded, had hastily built a high wall round the whole city as it then was. For the time the defence was sufficient. But the wall had been built without reference to artillery, it had neither towers nor embrasures for mounting cannons. It was simply a very high, solid, park wall, as may be seen to this day by the curious who care to visit the last remnants of it, in an out-of-the-way corner near the Grassmarket.
If the material defences were weak, the human defenders were weaker still. The regular soldiers were needed for the Castle; Hamilton's dragoons, stationed at Leith, were of no use in the defence of a city, the town guard was merely a body of rather inefficient policemen, the trained bands mere ornamental volunteers who shut their eyes if they had to let off a firearm in honour of the king's birthday. As soon as it seemed certain that the Highland army was approaching Edinburgh, preparations, frantic but spasmodic, were made to put the city in a state of defence.
The patriotic and spirited Maclaurin, professor of mathematics, alone and unaided, tried to mount cannons on the wall, but not with much success. The city determined to raise a regiment of volunteers; funds were not lacking; it was more difficult to find the men. Even when companies were formed, their ardour was not very great. Rumour and ignorance had exaggerated the numbers and fierceness of the Highland army; quiet citizens, drawn from desk or shop, might well shrink from encountering them in the field. Parties were divided in the town; the Prince had many secret friends among the citizens. In back parlours of taverns 'douce writers,' and advocates of Jacobite sympathies, discussed the situation with secret triumph; in many a panelled parlour high up in those wonderful old closes, spirited old Jacobite ladies recalled the adventures of the '15, and bright-eyed young ones busied themselves making knots of white satin. 'One-third of the men are Jacobite,' writes a Whig citizen, 'and two-thirds of the ladies.'
On Saturday, 14th, the news reached Edinburgh that the Prince had arrived at Linlithgow, and that Gardiner had retired on Corstorphine, a village two miles from Edinburgh. Consternation was general; advice was sought from the law officers of the Crown, and it was found that they had all retired to Dunbar. The Provost was not above suspicion. His surname was Stuart; no Scotsman could believe that he really meant to oppose the chief of his name.
On Sunday, as the townsfolk were at church about eleven o'clock, the firebell rang out its note of alarm, scattering the congregation into the streets. It was the signal for the mustering of the volunteers. The officer in command at the Castle was sending the dragoons from Leith to reinforce Gardiner at Corstorphine, and the volunteers were ordered to accompany them. They were standing in rank in the High Street, when the dragoons rattled up the Canongate at a hard trot; as they passed they saluted their brothers in arms with drawn swords and loud huzzas, then swept down the West Bow and out at the West Port. For a moment military ardour seized the volunteers, but the lamentations and tears of their wives and children soon softened their mood again. A group of Jacobite ladies in a balcony mocked and derided the civic warriors, but had finally to close their windows to prevent stones being hurled at them.
One of the volunteer companies was composed of University students. Among them was, doubtless, more than one stout young heart, eager for fame and fighting, but most were more at home with their books than their broadswords. 'Oh, Mr. Hew, Mr. Hew,' whispered one youth to his comrade, 'does not this remind you of the passage in Livy where the Gens of the Fabii marched out of the city, and the matrons and maids of Rome were weeping and wringing their hands?' 'Hold your tongue,' said Mr. Hew, affecting a braver spirit, 'you'll discourage the men.' 'Recollect the end, Mr. Hew,' persisted his trembling comrade; 'they all perished to a man!' This was not destined to be the fate of the Edinburgh volunteers. On the march down the West Bow, one by one they stole off, up the narrow wynds and doorways, till by the time they reached the West Port, only the student corps remained, and even its ranks were sadly thinned. The remnant were easily persuaded that their lives were too precious to their country to be rashly thrown away, and quietly marched back to the college yards.
There was no alarm that night. At one o'clock the Provost, accompanied by a few of the city guard, carrying a lantern before him, visited the outposts and found all at their places. In the narrow streets of Edinburgh the people were accustomed to transact all their business out of doors. Next morning (Monday, 16th), the streets were already crowded at an early hour with an anxious, vociferous crowd. At 10 o'clock a man arrived with a message from the Prince, which he incautiously proclaimed in the street. If the town would surrender it should be favourably treated; if it resisted it must expect to be dealt with according to the usages of war. Greatly alarmed, the people clamoured for a meeting, but the Provost refused; he trusted to the dragoons to defend the city. A little after noon, the citizens looking across from the Castle and the northern windows of their houses, saw the dragoons in retreat from Coltbridge As they watched the moving figures, the pace quickened and became a regular flight; by the time the dragoons were opposite the city on the other side of the Norloch, they were running like hares. They made at first for their barracks at Leith, but the distance still seemed too short between them and the terrifying Highlanders; they never drew rein till they had reached Prestonpans, nor did they rest there longer than an hour or two, but galloped on, and were at Dunbar before nightfall. And yet they had not exchanged a blow with their foes! At the first sight of a reconnoitring party of horsemen, panic had seized them and they had fled. This was the celebrated 'Canter of Coltbridge.'
The effect on the city was disturbing in the extreme. A tumultuous meeting was held in the council chamber, the volunteers were drawn up in the streets. As they stood uncertain what to do a man on horseback—it was never known who he was—galloped up the Bow, and as he passed along the ranks, shouted 'The Highlanders are coming, sixteen thousand strong.'
It was too much for the volunteers, they marched up to the Castle and gave in their arms! Meanwhile, a packet was handed into the council chamber signed C. P., and offering the same terms as in the morning, only adding that the town must open its gates by two o'clock next morning. The cry was unanimous to surrender, but to gain time deputies were sent to the Prince at Gray's Mill, two miles from Edinburgh, to ask for further delay. Hardly had the deputies gone when, in through the opposite gate galloped a messenger from Dunbar, to say that Cope had landed there with his troops. Opinion now swung round the other way, and men's courage rose to the point of speaking about resistance. The deputies returned at ten at night; Charles, they said, was inexorable and stuck to his conditions. To cause a delay, a new set of deputies were sent forth at a very late hour, and went out by the West Bow in a hackney coach.
To gain time, and then steal another march on Cope, was even more important to the Prince than to his enemies. There were weak points in the wall that might be attacked. The chief gate of the city, the Netherbow, lay midway up the High Street, dividing the real borough of Edinburgh from the Canongate; on each side of this gate the wall descended sharply down hill, running along Leith Wynd on the north side and St. Mary's Wynd on the south. The houses of the latter—Edinburgh houses numbering their ten or twelve stories—were actually built on to the wall. By entering one of these, active and determined men might clear the wall by a fire of musketry from the upper windows, and then make an escalade. Another weak point was at the foot of Leith Wynd, where the wall met the Norloch. About midnight Locheil and five hundred of his men started to make a night attack. They were guided by Mr. Murray of Broughton (the Prince's secretary, afterwards a traitor), who had been a student in Edinburgh and knew the town well. To avoid chance shots from the guns of the Castle, they made a wide circle round the town, but so still was the night that across the city they could hear the watches called in the distant fortress. Swift and silent as Red Indians, the Highlanders marched in the shadow cast by the high, dark houses of the suburbs without arousing the sleeping inmates. They could see cannons on the walls, but no sentinels were visible. They determined to try fraud before resorting to force. Twenty Camerons placed themselves in hiding on each side of the gate, sixty stood in the dark recess of the Wynd, the rest were at the bottom of the slope. One of the number, disguised as the servant of an English officer of dragoons, knocked loudly at the gate, demanding admission. The watch refused to open and threatened to fire. So this stratagem was not successful. Already the dawn was beginning to break, and a council was held among the leaders of the band in low hurried whispers. They were deliberating whether they should not retreat, when all at once a heavy rumbling noise from within the city broke the silence of the night. The hackney coach before mentioned had deposited its load of deputies at the council chamber and was returning to its stable-yard in the Canongate. A word to the watchmen within and the gates swung on their heavy hinges. In rushed the body of Camerons, secured the bewildered watchmen, and in a few minutes had seized the city guard-house and disarmed the soldiers. Then they struck up the wild pibroch 'We'll awa' to Sheriffmuir to haud the Whigs in order,' and startled citizens rushing to their windows saw in the dim twilight the streets filled with plaids and bonnets. The conquerors visited all the outposts as quietly as if they were troops relieving guard. A citizen strolling along by the wall early next morning found a Highland soldier astride on one of the cannons, 'Surely you are not the same soldiers who were here yesterday?' 'Och no!' was the answer with a grave twinkle, 'she be relieved.'
At noon Prince Charles rode to Holyrood by way of Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags. He was on foot as he approached the ancient home of his race, but the large and enthusiastic crowd which came out to meet him pressed so closely upon him in their eagerness to kiss his hand, that he had to mount a horse, and rode the last half mile between the Duke of Perth and Lord Elcho. A gallant young figure he must have appeared at that moment—tall and straight and fresh-coloured, in a tartan coat and blue bonnet, with the cross of St. Andrew on his breast. As he was about to enter the old palace of Holyrood, out of the crowd stepped the noble and venerable figure of Mr. Hepburn of Keith. He drew his sword, and, holding it aloft, with grave enthusiasm marshalled the Prince up the stairs. It was surely a good omen; no man in Scotland bore a higher character for learning, goodness, and patriotism than Mr. Hepburn; he was hardly less respected by the Whigs than the Jacobites.
That same afternoon, at the old Cross in the High Street, with pomp of heralds and men-at-arms, James VIII. was proclaimed king, and his son's commission as regent was read aloud to the listening crowd. Loud huzzas almost drowned the wild music of the bagpipes, the Highlanders in triumph let off their pieces in the air, and from every window in the high houses on each side ladies fluttered their white handkerchiefs. Beside the Cross, beautiful Mrs. Murray of Broughton sat on horseback, a drawn sword in one hand, while with the other she distributed white cockades to the crowd. Even grave Whig statesmen like the Lord President Forbes were disturbed by the enthusiastic Jacobitism that possessed all the Scotch ladies. More than one followed the example of the high-spirited Miss Lumsden, who let her lover clearly understand that she would have nothing more to say to him unless he took up arms for the Prince, and doubtless more young gallants than Robert Strange joined the rebels for no better reason than their ladies' command.
A ball was given at Holyrood that same evening, and surrounded by all that was bravest and most beautiful and brilliant in Scottish society, it was no wonder that Charles felt that this was but the beginning of a larger and more complete triumph.
IN less than a month Prince Charles had marched through a kingdom, and gained a capital, but he felt his triumph insecure till he had met his enemies in fair fight. Nor were his followers less eager for battle. In a council of war held at Holyrood, Charles declared his intention of leading the army against Cope, and of charging in person at its head. That, however, the chiefs would not hear of; the Prince's life was all-important to their cause, and must not be rashly exposed to danger. The arms that the Edinburgh trained bands had used to so little purpose—about a thousand muskets—had fallen into the hands of their enemies; but even with this addition, the Highland soldiers were insufficiently accoutred. The gentlemen, who marched in the front ranks, were, it is true, completely armed with broadsword, musket, pistol, and dirk, but in the rank and file many an unkempt, half-clothed, ill-fed cateran carried merely a bill-hook or scytheblade fixed into a long pole. It was the swiftness and splendid daring of their onset that made these ill-armed, untrained clansmen the equals or more than the equals of the regular army that opposed them.
In the meantime Cope, with his army of 2,000 foot, reinforced by the fugitive dragoons, some 600 men under Gardiner, were marching from Dunbar. Gardiner, as brave a soldier as he was a good and devout Christian, was full of foreboding. The 'canter of Coltbridge' had broken his heart; a 'most foul flight,' he called it, and added, to a friend who tried to comfort him, that there were not ten men in his troop whom he could trust not to run away at the first fire. No such misgiving seems to have disturbed Sir John Cope. On Friday the 20th the Hanoverian army reached Prestonpans, and formed its ranks on a plain between the sea on the north and the ridge of Carberry Hill on the south. The road from Edinburgh to Haddington passed through this plain, and the simple old general argued that the advancing army would be sure to take the easiest road. Fortunately Lord George Murray knew better where the peculiar strength of the Highlanders lay.
Early on Friday morning the Prince's army broke up from their camp at Duddingstone. Charles himself was the first man on the field. As the troops began their march, he drew his sword and cried: 'Gentlemen, I have thrown away the scabbard;' high-spirited words which found an echo in the hearts of all the brave men present.
The army marched in column, three abreast, the various clans holding together under their own chiefs. Two miles short of Prestonpans Lord George learned the position of Cope's army, and at once led his light-footed soldiers up the slopes that commanded the plain. The English general was hourly expecting to see his enemies approach from the west by the road, and he was fully prepared to meet them at that point. At two in the afternoon, to his amazement, they suddenly appeared from the south, marching over the ridge of the hill.
The Hanoverian soldiers had enough spirit to receive them with cheers, to which the Highlanders responded by wild yells. They longed ardently to sweep down the slope and give instant battle, but the nature of the ground made this impossible even to a Highland army. Intersecting the hillside were high stone walls, which would have to be scaled under a hot fire from below, and at the bottom was a swamp, a wide ditch, and a high hedge. A certain gentleman in the Prince's army—Mr. Ker of Gordon—rode over the ground on his pony to examine its possibilities. He went to work as coolly as if he were on the hunting-field, making breaches in the wall and leading his pony through, in spite of a dropping fire from the Hanoverians. He reported that to charge over such ground was impossible. The Highlanders were bitterly disappointed; their one fear was that Cope should again slip away under cover of darkness. To prevent this Lord Nairne and 600 Perthshire men were sent to guard the road to Edinburgh. Seeing that nothing more could be done that night, both armies settled down to rest; General Cope lay in comfort at Cockenzie, Prince Charles on the field; a bundle of peastraw served for his pillow; a long white cloak thrown over his plaid for a covering.
Among the volunteers who had recently joined the Prince was an East Lothian laird called Anderson. He had often shot over the fields about Prestonpans. During the night he suddenly remembered a path which led from the heights, down through the morass on to the plain, slightly to the east of Cope's army. He sought out Lord George and told him of this path, and he, struck with the possibility of making immediate use of the information, took him without delay to the Prince. Charles was alert on the instant, entered into the plan proposed, and the next moment the word of command was passed along the sleeping lines. A few moments later the whole army was moving along the ridge in the dim starlight. But here a difficulty occurred. At Bannockburn, and in all great battles afterwards, except Killiekrankie, the Macdonalds had held the place of honour on the right wing of the army. They claimed that position now with haughty tenacity. The other clans, equally brave and equally proud, disputed the claim. It was decided to draw lots to settle the question. Lots were drawn, and the place of honour fell to the Camerons and Stewarts. An ominous cloud gathered on the brows of the Macdonald chiefs, but Locheil, as sagacious as he was courteous, induced the other chiefs to waive their right, and, well content, the clan Macdonald marched on in the van.
Up on the hill the sky was clear, but a thick white mist covered the plain. Under cover of this the Highlanders passed the morass in the one fordable place. In the darkness the Prince missed a stepping-stone and slipped into the bog, but recovered so quickly that no one had time to draw a bad omen from the accident. A Hanoverian dragoon, standing sentinel near this point, heard the march of the soldiers while they were still invisible in the dusk, and galloped off to give the alarm, but not before the Highland army was free from the swamp and had formed in two lines on the plain. Macdonalds and Camerons and Stewarts were in the first line; behind, at a distance of fifty yards, the Perthshiremen and other regiments led by Charles himself.
Learning that the enemy was now approaching from the east side of the plain, Cope drew up his men to face their approach. In the centre was the infantry—the steadiest body in his army—on his left, near the sea and opposite the Macdonalds, Hamilton's dragoons, on the right, the other dragoons under Gardiner, and in front of these the battery of six cannon. This should have been a formidable weapon against the Highlanders, who, unfamiliar with artillery, had an almost superstitious fear of the big guns, but they were merely manned by half-a-dozen feeble old sailors. There was a brief pause as the two armies stood opposite each other in the sea of mist. The Highlanders muttered a short prayer, drew their bonnets down on their eyes, and moved forward at a smart pace. At that moment a wind rose from the sea and rolled away the curtain of mist from between the two armies. In front of them the Highlanders saw their enemy drawn up like a hedge of steel. With wild yells they came on, their march quickening to a run, each clan charging in a close compact body headed by its own chief. Even while they rushed on, as resistless as a torrent, each man fired his musket deliberately and with deadly aim, then flung it away and swept on, brandishing his broadsword. A body of Stewarts and Camerons actually stormed the battery, rushing straight on the muzzles of the guns. The old men who had them in charge had fled at the first sight of the Highlanders; even the brave Colonel Whiteford, who alone and unassisted stood to his guns, had to yield to their furious onset. Gardiner's dragoons standing behind the battery were next seized by the panic; they made one miserable attempt to advance, halted, and then wheeling round, dashed wildly in every direction. Nor could Hamilton's dragoons on the other wing stand the heavy rolling fire of the advancing Macdonalds. Mad with terror, man and horse fled in blind confusion, some backwards, confounding their own ranks, some along the shore, some actually through the ranks of the enemy.
Only the infantry in the centre stood firm and received the onset of the Highlanders with a steady fire. A small band of Macgregors, armed only with scytheblades, charged against this hedge of musketry. This curious weapon was invented by James More, a son of Rob Roy Macgregor. He was the leader of this party, and fell, pierced by five bullets. With undaunted courage he raised himself on his elbow, and shouted, 'Look ye, my lads, I'm not dead; by Heaven I shall see if any of you does not do his duty.' In that wild charge, none of the clansmen failed to 'do his duty.' Heedless of the rain of bullets, they rushed to close quarters with the Hanoverian infantry, who, deserted by the dragoons, were now attacked on both sides as well as in front. A few stood firm, and the gallant Colonel Gardiner put himself at their head. A blow from a scytheblade in the hands of a gigantic Macgregor ended his life, and spared him the shame and sorrow of another defeat. The Park walls at their back prevented the infantry from seeking ignoble security in flight, after the fashion of the dragoons, and they were forced to lay down their weapons and beg for quarter. Some 400 of them fell, struck down by the broadswords and dirks of their enemy, more than 700 were taken prisoners, and only a few hundreds escaped.
The battle was won in less than five minutes. Charles himself commanded the second column, which was only fifty yards behind the first, but, by the time he arrived on the scene of action, there was nothing left to be done. Nothing, that is, in securing the victory, but Charles at once occupied himself in stopping the carnage and protecting the wounded and prisoners. 'Sir,' cried one of his staff, riding up to him, 'there are your enemies at your feet.' 'They are my father's subjects,' answered Charles sadly, turning away.
In vain did Sir John Cope and the Earl of Home try to rally the dragoons. Holding pistols to the men's heads, they succeeded in collecting a body in a field near Clement's Wells, and tried to form a squadron; but the sound of a pistol-shot renewed the panic and off they started again at the gallop. There was nothing for it but for the officers to put themselves at the head of as many fugitives as they could collect, and conduct the flight. Hardly did they draw rein till they were safe at Berwick. There the unfortunate general was received by Lord Mark Ker with the well-known sarcasm—'Sir, I believe you are the first general in Europe who has brought the first news of his own defeat.'
In the meantime, the wounded they had left on the field were being kindly cared for by the victorious army. Charles despatched a messenger to bring medical aid—an errand not without danger to a single horseman on roads covered with straggling bodies of dragoons. But the adventure just suited the gallant spirit of young Lawrence Oliphant. At Tranent the sight of him and his servant at their heels sent off a body of dragoons at the gallop. Single fugitives he disarmed and dismounted, sending the horses back to the Prince by the hands of country lads. Once he had to discharge his pistol after a servant and pony, but for the most part the terrified soldiers yielded at a word.
Entering the Netherbow, he galloped up the streets of Edinburgh shouting, 'Victory! victory!' From every window in the High Street and Luckenbows white caps looked out, while the streets were crowded with eager citizens, and joyful hurrahs were heard on every side. At Lucky Wilson's, in the Lawn Market, the young gentleman alighted, called for breakfast, and sent for the magistrates to deliver his orders that the gates were to be closed against any fugitive dragoons. Hat in hand, the magistrates waited on the Prince's aide-de-camp, but at that moment the cry arose that dragoons and soldiers were coming up the street. Up jumps Mr. Oliphant and out into the street, faces eight or nine dragoons, and commands them to dismount in the Prince's name. This the craven Hanoverians were quite prepared to do. Only one presented his piece at the young officer. Mr. Oliphant snapped his pistol at him, forgetting that it was empty. Immediately half a dozen shots were fired at him, but so wildly that none did him any harm beyond shattering his buckle, and he retreated hastily up one of the dark steep lanes that led into a close.
The commander of the Castle refused to admit the fugitives, threatened even to fire on them as deserters, and they had to gallop out at the West Port and on to Stirling. Another of the Prince's officers, Colquhoun Grant, drove a party of dragoons before him all the way into Edinburgh, and stuck his bloody dirk into the Castle gates as a defiance.
Sadder was the fate of another Perthshire gentleman, as young and as daring as Lawrence Oliphant. David Thriepland, with a couple of servants, had followed the dragoons for two miles from the field; they had fled before him, but, coming to a halt, they discovered that their pursuers numbered no more than three. They turned on them and cut them down with their swords. Many years afterwards, when the grass was rank and green on Mr. Thriepland's grave, a child named Walter Scott, sitting on it, heard the story from an old lady who had herself seen the death of the young soldier.
The next day (Sunday) the Prince held his triumphant entry up the High Street of Edinburgh. Clan after clan marched past, with waving plaids and brandished weapons; the wild music of the pipes sounded as full of menace as of triumph. From every window in the dark, high houses on each side, fair faces looked down, each adorned with the white cockade. In their excitement the Highlanders let off their pieces into the air. By an unfortunate accident one musket thus fired happened to be loaded, and the bullet grazed the temple of a Jacobite lady, Miss Nairne, inflicting a slight wound. 'Thank God that this happened to me, whose opinions are so well known,' cried the high-spirited girl. 'Had a Whig lady been wounded, it might have been thought that the deed had been intentional.'
THE MARCH TO DERBY
A SUCCESSFUL army, especially an insurgent army, should never pause in its onward march. If Prince Charles could have followed the flying dragoons over the Border into England he would have found no preparations made to resist him in the Northern counties. Even after the King and Government were alarmed by the news of the battle of Preston, a full month was allowed to pass before an army under General Wade arrived at Newcastle on the 29th of October. Dutch, Hessian, and English troops were ordered home from Flanders and regiments were raised in the country, though at first no one seems to have seriously believed in anything so daring as an invasion of England by Prince Charles and his Highlanders.
So far there had come no word of encouragement from the English Jacobites. Still, Charles never doubted but that they would hasten to join him as soon as he crossed the Border. On the very morrow of Prestonpans he sent messengers to those whom he considered his friends in England, telling of his success and bidding them be ready to join him. In the meantime he waited in Edinburgh till his army should be large and formidable enough to undertake the march South. After the battle numbers of his soldiers had deserted. According to their custom, as soon as any clansman had secured as much booty as he could conveniently carry, he started off home to his mountains to deposit his spoil. A stalwart Highlander was seen staggering along the streets of Edinburgh with a pier glass on his back, and ragged boys belonging to the army adorned themselves with gold-laced hats, or any odd finery they could pick up.
Many new adherents flocked to join the Prince. Among these was the simple-minded old Lord Pitsligo. He commanded a body of horse, though at his age he could hardly bear the fatigues of a campaign. In Aberdeenshire—always Jacobite and Episcopalian—Lord Lewis Gordon collected a large force; in Perthshire Lord Ogilvy raised his clan, though neither of these arrived in time to join the march South. Even a Highland army could not start in mid-winter to march through a hostile country without any preparations. Tents and shoes were provided by the city of Edinburgh, and all the horses in the neighbourhood were pressed for the Prince's service.
On the first day of November the army, numbering 6,000 men, started for the Border. Lord George led one division, carrying the supplies by Moffat and Annandale to the West Border. Charles himself commanded the other division. They pretended to be moving on Newcastle, marched down Tweedside and then turned suddenly westward and reached England through Liddesdale.
On the 8th they crossed the Border. The men unsheathed their swords and raised a great shout. Unfortunately, as he drew his claymore, Locheil wounded his hand, and his men, seeing the blood flow, declared it to be a bad omen.
But fortune still seemed to follow the arms of the Adventurer. Carlisle was the first strong town on the English Border, and though insufficiently garrisoned, was both walled and defended by a Castle. The mayor, a vain-glorious fellow, was ambitious of being the first man to stay the victorious army, and published a proclamation saying that he was not 'Patterson, a Scotchman, but Pattieson, a true-hearted Englishman, who would defend his town against all comers.'
A false report that Wade was advancing from the West made Charles turn aside and advance to Brampton in the hope of meeting him, but the roads were rough, the weather was wild and cold, the Hanoverian general was old, and again, as at Corryarack, Charles prepared to meet an enemy that never appeared.