Imagens das páginas

the northern tribes from rising en masse, as they were much inclined to do. He wrote circular letters, with great judgment and address, to all the heads of families on the Prince's landing, pointing out to those who could neither comprehend, nor attend to sound political argument, the inefficacy of their force and preparation, and the certain failure of an enterprize so rash and ill conducted. These, joined to his succeeding efforts broke the force of the confederacy, and divided its councils. His liberality in supporting the royal cause injur'd his fortune ; and the contemptuous coolness with which he was treated by the Young Conqueror, who could not brook the idea of sharing his merit with any one, broke his spirit ;—and what completed his disgust was, that his lenient counsels, in the hour of success, were despised and neglected; many being put to death for whom he interceded. He might be justly included in the number of those patriots, who

• Clos’d their long glories with a sigh, to find “ Th' unwilling gratitude of base mankind.”

No. 31. Till the mild evening star arose in calmer skies.-P. 87.

When they left the main land, they durst not steer immediately for Sky, where they knew there was a ship-ofwar at anchor, and that every landing-place was guarded by armed boats. During their wanderings on the sea that day, they were overtaken by a storm ; the rowers being quite worn out, the Prince relieved them by turns; and when the storm subsided, sung and amused them,


by endeavouring to learn Gaelic songs. In his wanderings subsequent to this period, he made a surprising progress in that language, and, except on some occasions, when he was overcome by accounts of the violent deaths of his most faithful followers, he was not only patient, but cheerful.


NO. 32.
And near high Rasay's rocky border drew.-P. 87.

On this day of imminent danger and severe labour, their little store of food and liquor was destroyed by sea-water ; they hoped for a safe retreat the ensuing night in Rasay; but the laird or his brother, on perceiving their approach by moonlight, warned them from the landing-place, and carried them some bread, wine, and brandy, through the surf at the risk of his life, informing them at the same time that Rasay, as well as Sky, was entirely occupied by the royal forces. They were thus obliged to set out again, and in the morning were chaced by one of the king's cutters into South Uist, an island belonging to the Clanronald family : they were so closely followed, that the Royal Fugitive found it necessary, where a rocky point intercepted the view of his pursuers, to spring on shore, and conceal himself in a cavity among the rocks. The boatmen pretended ignorance of the English language, and were dismissed as wandering fishermen. One of thein found means, the next day, to convey

information of the Prince's landing to the lady of the place, who, though she wished not to intermeddle, shrunk from the idea of his being apprehended on her

domain. In this dilemma she was relieved by the calm rea solution of Miss FLORA Macdonald, then her guest; who undertook, of herself, and by herself, to supply himi with food, and convey him off the island, which was done precisely as narrated in the poem. She, to elude the curiosity of the soldiers, took a maid with her, and at the ebbing of the tide wandered on the shore in search of shells, &c. When the maid, who was ignorant of her intention, was busied at some distance, she stole into the cavern with food and wine to the Prince, and appeared again without being missed. She attired him in a female dress, and with great deliberation requested a pass for herself and an Irish maid, whom she feigned to have brought over for her mother, to teach the spinning of fine yarn. This artifice was necessary to account for the uncouth, outlandish appearance of the Prince, whose size and figure very ill suited his assumed character. On their arrival at Sky on the Sunday afternoon, they were met by Miss Fiora's stepfather, MACDONALD of Kingsburgh, a man of singular worth and integrity, who, when let into the secret by his daughter, set earnestly about co-operating with her ; and not thinking it safe, on a day when so many people were abroad, to march such a strange figure on the public road, he went to an adjoining scat belonging to the Chieftain, then occupied by his widow, Lady MARGARET MACDONALD, and two sons, minors, and begged a night's refuge for his guest, merely on principles of humanity. The Lady burst into a passionate lamentation, representing howdreadful it would be to her to have biin seized while in

der her protection ; ór, on the other hand, to have the matter heard of afterwards, and her family disgraced for concealing such a guest. KINGSBURGH then determined to take him at all hazards to his own house : they had to go two miles, and a crowd of people returning from church, took the same road. Flora and her attendant preceded, and KingSBURGH fell back a little to share the conversation, and divide the attention of his fellow-travellers. He found them all engaged on one common topic, the aukward strides and uncouth appearance of the Irish maid. He told them it was a shameful thing, immediately after hearing the word of God, to spend their time in conversation so idle and sinful, as commenting on the defects or peculiarities of their neighbours : The well-meaning rustics were abash'd and silent, and the maid walked on peaceably. They rested by the sea-side till all the family were in bed, when they introduced their guest to the dining-room, and KINGSBURGH summoned his wife to attend him. She was in great concern, not knowing, as she said, how to appear before Majesty. Upon being introduced, she knelt with much reverence, and was raised and saluted by her guest. She heard, with great concern, how he had lived for some time past ; went and dressed a neat supper, at witich she attended standing, while KINGSBURGH was prevailed on to sit. At day-light the Prince retired to a comfortable bed, provided for him in a private apartment; there he slept all day, and when he rose, his hostess folded his sheets and put them in a drawer, that she might preserve them to be buried in. He set off that night in a different disguise : the circumstances of his having been concealed in that family, and of his female dress, were however traced out; in consequence of which FLORA and her father in law were seized and carried prisoners, with many others, on board a frigate then lying in the road, and taken to London, in order to be tried for misprision of trea



NO. 33.
To ages yet unborn th' undying song.-P. 92.

The Isle of Sky still retains, in some degree, its ancient pre-eminence above the rest of the Hevrides ; it is the native region of Gaelic music and poetry. The inhabitants held their land on very easy terms; the surrounding sea poured all its riches upon their coasts, and even foreign luxuries, from the frequent passage of Dutch and Danish vessels through their straits, were obtained at an easier rate than in most other places. They had a succession of

dearned and intelligent clergy among them, one of whom, DR MACPHERSON, father to the present Sir John, was the first who threw light upon Gaelic antiquities. It is singular enough, that the Sky gentlemen, though more enlightened and informed than almost any set of people of their own rank, did not often acquire much taste for the English classics. Having early cultivated poetical taste at home, that taste, formed on the simple and sublime models of Ossian, and the poets of his remote age, was gratified at college chiefly by the perusal of the Greek and Roman poets. MILTON was the only Eng



« AnteriorContinuar »