Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

On the other hand, it seems to have been the opinion of almost all the other officers, that the day was irretrievably lost, one wing of the Highlanders being entirely routed, the rest of the army outnumbered, outflanked, and in a condition totally hopeless. In this situation of things, the Irish officers who surrounded Charles's person interfered to force him off the field. A cornet who was close to the Prince, left a strong attestation, that he had seen Sir Thomas Sheridan seize the bridle of his horse, and turn him round. There is some discrepancy of evidence; but the opinion of Lord Elcho, a man of fiery temper, and desperate at the ruin which he beheld impending, cannot fairly be taken, in prejudice of a character for courage which is intimated by the nature of the enterprise itself, by the Prince's eagerness to fight on all occasions, by his determination to advance from Derby to London, and by the presence of mind which he manifested during the romantic perils of his escape. The author is far from claiming for this unfortunate person the praise due to splendid talents; but he continues to be of opinion, that at the period of his enterprise, he had

a mind capable of facing danger and aspiring to fame.

That Charles Edward had the advantages of a graceful presence, courtesy, and an address and manner becoming his station, the author never heard disputed by any who approached his person, nor does he conceive that these qualities are overcharged in the present attempt to sketch his portrait. The following extracts corroborative of the general opinion respecting the Prince's amiable disposition, are taken from a manuscript account of his romantic expedition, by James Maxwell of Kirkconnell, of which I possess a copy, by the friendship of J. Menzies, Esq. of Pitfoddells. The author, though partial to the Prince, whom he faithfully followed, seems to have been a fair and candid man, and well acquainted with the intrigues among the Adventurer's council :

“Every body was mightily taken with the Prince's figure and personal behaviour. There was but one voice about them. Those whom interest or prejudice made a runaway to his cause, could not help acknowledging that they wished him well in all other respects, and could hardly blame him for his present undertaking. Sundry things had concurred to raise his character to the highest pitch, besides the greatness of the enterprise, and the conduct that had hitherto appeared in the execution of it. There were several instances of good-nature and humanity that had made a great impression on people's minds. I shall confine myself to two or three. Immediately after the battle, as the Prince was riding along the ground that Cope's army had occupied a few minutes before, one of the officers came up to congratulate him, and said, pointing to the killed, “Sir, there are your enemies at your feet. The Prince, far from exulting, expressed a great deal of compassion for his father's deluded subjects, whom he declared he was heartily sorry to see in that posture. Next day, while the Prince was at Pinkie-house, a citizen of Edinburgh came to make some representation to Secretary Murray about the tents that city was ordered to furnish against a certain day. Murray happened to be out of the way, which the Prince hearing of, called to have the gentleman brought to him, saying, he would rather despatch the business, whatever it was, himself, than have the gentleman wait, which he did, by granting every thing that was asked. So much affability in a young prince, flushed with victory, drew encomiums even from his enemies. But what gave the people the highest idea of him, was the negative he gave to a thing that very nearly concerned his interest, and upon which the success of his enterprise per

[ocr errors]

haps depended. It was proposed to send one of the prisoners to London, to demand of that court à cartel for the exchange of prisoners taken, and to be taken, during this war, and to intimate that a refusal would be looked upon as a resolution on their part to give no quarter. It was visible a cartel would be of great advantage to the Prince's affairs; his friends would be more ready to declare for him

if they had nothing to fear but the chance of war in the field ; and if the court of London refused to settle a cartel, the Prince was authorised to treat his prisoners in the same manner the Elector of Hanover was determined to treat such of the Prince's friends as might fall into his hands : it was urged that a few examples would compel the court of London to comply. It was to be presumed that the officers of the English army would make a point of it. They had never engaged in the service, but upon such terms as are in use among all civilized nations, and it could be no stain upon their honour to lay down their commissions if these terms were not observed, and that owing to the obstinacy of their own Prince. Though this scheme was plausible, and represented as very important, the Prince could never be brought into it; it was below him, he said, to make empty threats, and he would never put such as those into execution; he would never in cold blood take away lives which he had saved in the heat of action, at the peril of his own. These were not the only proofs of good nature the Prince gave about this time. Every day produced something new of this kind. These things softened the rigour of a military government, which was only imputed to the necessity of his affairs, and which he endeavoured to make as gentle and easy as possible.”

It has been said that the Prince sometimes exacted more state and ceremonial than seemed to suit his condition ; but, on the other hand, some strictness of etiquette was altogether indispensable where he must otherwise have been exposed to general intrusion. He could also endure, with a good grace, the retorts which his affectation of ceremony sometimes exposed him to. It is said, for example, that Grant of Glenmoriston having made a hasty march to join Charles, at the head of his clan, rushed into the Prince's presence at Holyrood, with unceremonious haste, without having attended to the duties of the toilet. The Prince received him kindly, but not without a hint that a previous interview with the barber might not have been wholly unnecessary. “It is not beardless boys, answered the displeased Chief, “who are to do your Royal Highness's turn." The Chevalier took the rebuke in good part.

!

[ocr errors]

On the whole, if Prince Charles had concluded his life soon after his miraculous escape, his character in history must have stood very high. As t was, his station is amongst those, a certain brilliant portion of whose ife forms a remarkable contrast to all which precedes, and all which ollows it.

Note XXIII. (p. 414).—Oath upon the Dirk. As the heathen deities contracted an indelible obligation if they swore by Styx, the Scottish Highlanders had usually some peculiar solemnity attached to an oath, which they intended should be binding on them. Very frequently it consisted in laying their hand, as they swore, on their own drawn dirk; which dagger, becoming a party to the transaction, was invoked to punish any breach of faith. But by whatever ritual the oath was sanctioned, the party was extremely desirous to keep secret what the especial oath was, which he considered as irrevocable. This was a matter of great convenience, aş he felt no scruple in breaking his asseveratjon,

when made in any other form than that which he accounted as peculiarly solemn; and therefore readily granted any engagement which bound him no longer than he inclined. Whereas, if the oath which he accounted inviolable was once publicly known, no party with whom he might have occasion to contract, would have rested satisfied with any other. Louis XI. of France practised the same sophistry, for he also had a peculiar species of oath, the only one which he was ever known to respect, and which, therefore, he was very unwilling to pledge. The only engagement which that wily tyrant accounted binding upon him, was an oath by the Holy Cross of Saint Lo D'Angers, which contained a portion of the True Cross. If he prevaricated after taking this oath, Louis believed he should die within the year. The Constable Saint Paul, being invited to a personal conference with Louis, refused to meet the king unless he would agree to ensure him safe conduct under sanction of this oath. But, says Comines, the king replied, he would never again pledge that engagement to mortal man, though he was willing to take any other oath which could be devised. The treaty broke off, therefore, after much chaffering concerning the nature of the vow which Louis was to take. Such is the difference between the dictates of superstition and those of conscience.

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

ABOON, abune, above.

BROO', broth.
AGAIN, against.

BRUCKLE, brittle.
AHINT, behind.

BRUIK, enjoy.
Arts, oats.

BRULZIE, broil, scuffle, fray. AMBRY, close cupboard for keeping Buckie, shell of a sea-snail, or any provisions.

spiral shell, of whatever size.
ARIETTE, song.

BUSKING, dressing.
ASSYTHMENT, compensation. BUTTOCK-MAIL, fine imposed for
ASSOILZIE, acquit, release.

fornication, in lieu of sitting on

the stool of repentance.
BAFF, bang, shot.
BAGGONET, bayonet.

Cadger, carrier, buxter.
Bailie, alderman or magistrate. CAILLIACHS, old women.
BAN, curse.

CALLANT, lad, young fellow.
BANG, a spring, a bound.

CANTRIP, trick.
BARTIZAN, a battlement.

CAPERCAILZIE, the great cock of
BEFLUMMED, befooled.

the wood.
BEILDY ENOUGH BIT, small shelter CARLE, churl, fellow.
enough.

Cast, lot, fate.
BEJUNK, BEGUNK, trick.

CATERAN, robber, Irish and High-
BEN, within, the inner apartment. land irregular soldier, freebooter.
Bent, a kind of grass; metaphori.

CEANKINNE, chieftain.
cally, the hill, the moor.

CESS-MONEY, tribute.
BIGGING, building.

CHANGE - HOUSE, roadside inn,
BIRLIEMAN, parish assessor.

where horses are changed on a Bit, small, little, short.

journey. BLINK, a glimpse, a glance of the

ChieL, CHIELD, young fellow. eye.

CLACHAN, a small village. BLOOD-WIT, compensation, fine for CLAMHEWIT, stroke, back. bloodshed.

CLAW FAVOUR, to curry favour. BODDLE, BODLE, a copper coin, CLEIK THE CUNZIE,

" hook the value the sixth part of an English siller" (take the money). penny, equal to two doits, or

CLOUR, knock on the head. Scottish pennies.

COGUE, a round vessel made by a BOGLE ABOUT THE BUSH, a sort

cooper for holding milk, liquor, of hide and seek.

etc. BOUNE, prepare.

CONEY, rabbit. BRAE, hill.

CORONACH, dirge. BRANDER, gridiron.

CORRIE, a mountain hollow in the BRENT BROW, high forehead.

Highlands

[ocr errors]

Coup, barter.

Gaffer, old man, master.
COUPE-JARRET, ham-stringer. GAR'D, forced, compelled.
Cow YER CRACKS, stop your chatter. GARRING, making.
CRAIG, neck.

Gate, way, manner. CREAGH, a Highland foray, or GEAR, goods, property, cattle. plundering excursion.

GILLIE WET-FOOT, a running footCuittLE, tickle.

man, who had to carry his master CUNZIE, slang word for money.

over brooks and watery places CURRAGH, Highland boat or skiff.

when travelling. CUT-LUGGED, GRANING CARLES,

Gimmer, a two-year-old ewe. crop-eared, groaning humbugs. Gin, if.

GIRDLE, an iron Dlate for firing DAFT, silly, cracked.

cakes on. Daur, dare.

GIRNEL, a meal-chest. DEAVING, deafening.

Gite, noodle. DECREET, order of decree; a judicial GLED, kite. final sentence.

GLEG, sharp; on t e alert. Deliver, active, nimble.

Glisk, glance. Dern, hiding-place.

GOTTEN, got. DERN PATH, a secret path.

GRANING, groaning. DINGLE, tingle, shake.

GRAT, cried. DINMONT, a young wether that has

GREE, agree. not yet been twice shorn.

GRIPPLE, greedy, avaricious.
DOER, steward.

GULPIN, simpleton.
DOIL'D, stupid.
DORLACH, portmanteau.

Hae, have,
DOVERING HAME, going sleepily
homewards.

HAG, moss ground; a year's cutting

of oak, Dow, dove,

HAGGis, the pluck, etc., of a sheep, DowFF, deaf.

minced with suet, onions, e!c., DROGHLING AND COGHLING, boiled in its stomach ; a dish conwheezing and blowing.

secrated hy Burns as Chieftain DUINHÉ-WASSEL, gentleman.

of the pudiling race."

HALLAN, partition between the EANNARUICH, strong soup.

door of a cottage and the fireplace. Earn, eagle.

HANTLE, good handful, great many. Ewest, contiguous.

HECK AND MANGER, reckiess in

prodigality. FAINEANT, sluggard, lout.

HERSHIP, plunder. FAR BEN, in particular favour; HILL-FOLK, Covenanters. very intimate,

Ho, thou. FEck, part.

Hog, a ram gelding. FENDY, handy, resourceful.

Horning, enforced payment of it FLEMIT, frightened.

debt. FLEYT, scold.

HORSE-COUPER, a horse dealer.

HOULERING AND POULERING, GAD, iron bar.

bustling and pulling:

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »