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route of the royal army. We had marked for quotation, a very valuable paper of the date, it is supposed, of June 1746, in the President's hand, writing, containing his opinion relative to attainders, see p 282, No. cccxxv, as also No. cccxxvi. We had also marked No. CCCXLII, p. 297, containing, in the same hand-writing, some thoughts concerning the state of the Highlands of Scotland, very valuable and very characteristic. We conclude by selecting two letters, the one to Mr. George Ross, and the other to Mr. Scroope, which, limited as we are, wi furnish perhaps as full evidence of what the President did for his country, and how he did it, and as fair a specimen of his independent feeling and conscious integrity as any portions which we could pitch upon out of this large and curious volume.
"The Lord President to Mr. Geo. Ross.
Inverness 13th May 1746.
"Dear George, MY peregrination is now over. Some account of my Adventures you surely have had from different hands. To give ane exact one is the work of more time than I can at present afford. The difficultys I had to grapple with were many: the issue, on the main, has been favourable; & upon a strict review, I am satisfyd with my own conduct. I neither know nor care what criticks who have enjoy'd ease in safety may think. The Commissions for the Indep Companys I disposed of in the way that to me seem'd the most frugall and profitable to the publick. The use they have already been of to the publick is very great; preventing any accession of strength to the Rebells before they march'd into England was no small service; the like prevention in some degree, & the distraction of their forces, when the Duke was advancing, was of considerable use; & now they are by the Duke employ'd, under the command of E. Loudcun, in Glengarry, and must be the hands by which the Rebells are to be hunted in y recesses. My other Letter of this date gives the reason why the return of the Officers names, &c. was not sooner made. I hope the Certificate will be sufficient to put them upon the establishment, & to procure the issueing of money for them. The returns of the several Companys in the military way, E. Loudoun will take care of, What distress'd us most in this Country, was the real cause why the Rebells came to a head after their flight from Stirling, was the want of arms & money; which, God knows, had been long enough called for and expected; had these come in due time, we could have arm'd a force sufficient to have prevented their looking at us on this side Drumuachter. The men were prepared; severall hundreds assembled in their own Countrys, and some hundreds actually on their march. But, unJuckyly, the Ship that brought the few arms that were sent, & the sum of Money that came, did not arrive in our road sooner than the very day on which the Rebells made themselves Masters of the Barrack of Ruthven, It was then too late to fetch unarm'd men
from distances: it was even unsafe to land the Arms and the Money; so we were forced to suffer them to remain on board, & to retreat with the force.we had, to preserve them for the further annoyance of the enemy. Another ill consequence the scrimping us of Money had, was, that, as there were a great many contingent services absolutely necessary, & as all the money that could be raised on Loudoun's credit & mine, was not sufficient to answer these extra'ordinary Services; we were obliged to make free with the cash re mitted for the subsistence of the Company's: this, at the long run, will come out as broad as it is long, when accounts are made up, and allowances made for the contingent expence; but in the mean time it sadles us with the trouble of settleing and passing an
If any one will reflect on the situation I was in, and consider what I had to do, he will soon be convinced, that the expence I lay'd out could not be small. So far as I could command Money of my own, you will easyly believe it was employ'd without any hesitation; & of that I say nothing at present; but when the expedient proposed by the Marquis of Tweedale, of taking up Bills to be drawn on Mr Pelham, fail d, I had no resource but to take up money where I could find it, from well disposed persons, on my own proper notes. That Money so pick'd up was at the time of great service; & now that peace is restored, the Gentlemen, with great reason, expect to be repay.d. You can guess how ill I like a dun ; & I should hope, now the confusions are over, there can be no great difficulty in procureing me a remittance, or leave to draw on Mr Pelham, or some other proper person, to the extent of the sum thus borrowed, which does not exceed 1,500l. I have on this subject wrote to the D. of Newcastle, M Pelham, & M Scroope, whose letters you will forthwith deliver to the Duke & M Pelham I have wrote also on the subject cf the Indept Companys, & mentioned you as their Agent: if the 1,5001. is advanced me, it must be to account; & I shall find it a yery troublesome matter to make up that account, particularly, without great loss; tho' I can, to the mecrest trifle, what in gross I expended for the service. So soon as the Duke leaves this place, which will be in a day or two, I shall move Southwards; so that your Letters for me must be directed to Edin'; whether I shall remain there, or go further, I do not at present know. I ara heartyly tired of the erratick course I have been in, but as the prevention of any future disturbance is a matter of great moment, & which requires much deliberation & some skill; if these on whom it lies to frame the scheme for that purpose imagine T can, with my knowledge of the Country, be of any use to thean, I should not grudge the additionall fatigue of a journey; but it is not impossible their resolutions may be already taken. You may speak on this subject to my good freind the Soll Gen, & shew him this paragraph; & shall be glad to know how he does, & if possible to hear from him. I doubt not you will look after the inoney article.
J'am, Dear George,
Yours, &c." P. 275,
"The Lord President to Mr. Scroope.
13 May 1746. " IN every pinch I resort to you, & I know you expect I should. "About nine months ago my zeal led me into this country, to quench a very furious Rebellion, without arms, without money, without credite ; & if the King's Enemys are to be credited, my endeavours were attended with some success. His Majesty was pleased to intrust me with the disposition of Commissions for raiseing some independ Compy'; which I accordingly raised & employed, I hope, usefully. The Marquis of Tweedale, then Secretary of State for Scotland, acquainted me by order, that for supplying any extraordinary expence, I was to draw on Mr. Pelham; but the total interruption of correspondence made my receiving Money on such Draughts impossible, & I was forced to supply the necessary expence, after employing what Money of my own I could come at in this country, by borrowing upon my proper Notes such small sums as I could hear of. The Rebellion is now happily over; & the persons who lent me this money at a pinch, are now justly demanding Payment; & I, who cannot coin, & who never hitherto was dunned, find myself uneasy. The whole of the small sums does not exceed 1,500l. Now, if Mr. Pelham would either impress that Money into the hands of Geo. Ross, or any other person, to be remitted to me to account; or if he would authorize me to draw upon him, or upon any other person whom he may direct for that sum, in like manner to account, it would tend much to the quiet of my mind. I have of this date wrote to Mr. Pelham on this subject; & I now give you the trouble without blushing, because I am hardened to ask favours, by the many I have received. As I have executed the trust the King reposed in me, as to the raiseing Indep' Comp in the North, with great fidelity, & I hope with success, I look upon them as Children of my own; & I imagine you will therefore consider them as remote relations at least of yours. They have not yet been put upon any regular establishment for lack of the names of the officers, and of the date of their Commissions, occasioned by the interruption of correspondence, & by my various peregrinations. I have at last made a return of those particulars which possibly may be unformall. But I trust you will, as far as possible, supply defects, & direct that their establishment may be as beneficial to them as reason requires.
"Now, dear Sir, I come to the last, & to the most material thing I have to trouble you with; & that is, to ask your advice & instructions, to the getting whereof I have a sort of right by prescription. Here have I been for above nine months playing the Knight Errant; at least acting with a perfect heart, however sound my head may have been, out of my profession. The pubJick danger is now, thanks be to Providence! happyly over; & I
do not see what I have to do, but to return again to the plough, which I have for so long deserted. Whether Men with you will think that I have been mad or sober, well or ill employ'd, whether they believe that I have, or that I have not done any service, & whether it is likely or unlikely that, by advice, or otherwise, I may be of any use to put a finall end to this desperate rebellion, or to prevent dangers from such attempts for the future, are matters that I am utterly ignorant of, & can hardly expect light in from any body but yourself. You have opportunitys to know what construction my conduct bears; & you are so thoroughly acquainted with me, & my disposition, as well as with the disposition of our Rulers, that you can easily judge, whether it is fit for me, in hopes of doing some more good, to give myself any further trouble; or whether it is not more expedient to ly still and be quiet; leaving to those of my Country who know nothing of the matter, & who have chose to take no part of the risque, to direct as they shall think fit. If you deny me your advice, I shall be altogether at a loss; & if you do not give me your opinion of my conduct, I shall be apt to conclude you disapprove of it, which will very much mortify,
"Your affectionate friend & faithful Serv', &c." P. 474. That we consider this collection of papers as a most valuable acquisition to the public, will sufficiently appear from the attention which we have bestowed upon them. That they are, in the highest degree creditable to the head and heart of the illustrious man, in the possession of whose descendant they were found, is equally unquestionable and gratifying. We may now differ from him in some points, as if he were now living he might probably differ from himself; but this difference of opinion makes no abatement in our estimate of his character. Such letters, never meant for public inspection, are valuable records of history. But we are always to remark in making our references, and especially in drawing important conclusions, that opinions hastily formed on the spur of the occasion, and frequently on rumours hardly ascertained, and faintly elucidated, are not facts; that the best men, in the bustle of public life, are actuated by party, and use liberties in their private correspondence with the private characters of other men, and with the colour of public and private events, which they would never employ in writing for the public, or preparing for history. There is passion and anxiety at the moment, which magnify some things and diminish others; while in such circumstances the conviction is always felt, that a mere private opinion, though hasty or incorrect, will do comparatively little, or perhaps no personal injury to those who are thus opposed or blamed. This passion and this anxiety pass with the period which excite them, and subside into
impartial judgment on a future review of the very same characters, and of the very same transactions. If such be the case, and we think it will scarcely be denied by men qualified for sound re search and serious judgment, we are not entitled to consider the private opinions hastily formed of any individual, however respect. able, as the sole criterion of truth. We must examine with care, compare with candour, and combine with judgement various evidence before we draw positive inferences. The sweeping conclusions of the Edinburgh Reviewers respecting the moral character and motives of the mass of the rebels are not very creditable to their sagacity, however agreeable they may be to their party views. In fact, they do not result, except in such cases as that of Lord Lovat (the moral nature of which was sufficiently notorious before) from the evidence to which they refer. The President Forbes spoke the language of his party more mildly far than any other man of his time; but still he spoke that language which was mixed with passion, and agitated with anxiety. We find sufficient evidence, however, in his statements to entitle us to conclude that the leading rebels, with some remarkable exceptions, were men of high honour and generous feeling, fatally misled by a phantom which figured in their minds as fidelity, and which was adorned in their estimation with the attributes of genuine loyalty. Now that the danger is past, and the passion of that unhappy period subsided, we can afford to drop a tear of sympathy over their untimely graves, and to pity as much as we condemn their melancholy delusion, and its peculiarly unhappy consequences to their numerous and faithful followers.
ART. V. Old English Plays. 8vo. Martin. 1815.
WHEN the first division of this work was under review, we ventured to assert that a tendency towards a better taste had began to shew itself among the public, and to anticipate, that as the obstructions to the perusal of the earlier writers should be removed, their excellence would be progressively felt and acknowledged. We could, however, hardly have anticipated so imme diate and conclusive an evidence of the truth of our prediction, as the theatres have this season afforded; for whether we consider these establishments as leading, or being led, by public opi nion, the revivals from the old and better school of our dramatic literature, and the success attending them, must be admitted to bear equally on the question, in confirmation of our opinion. This it might naturally be supposed would be to us a source of uufeigned satisfaction, and it really has been so.