Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

Convey'd away in the night: and so I shut
The house up for a month

Lore. How!

Face. Purposing then, Sir, T' have burnt rose vinegar, treacle, and tar, And have made it sweet, that you should ne'er have known it; Because I knew the news would but afflict you, Sir.

Lore. Breathe less, and farther off! Why this is stranger: The neighbours tell me all here that the doors Have still been open

Face. How, Sir!

Lore. Gallants, men and women,
And of all sorts, tag-rag, been seen to flock here
In threaves, these ten weeks, as to a second Hogsden,
In days of Pimlico and Eye-bright.

Face. Sir,
Their wisdoms will not say so.

Love. To day they speak
Of coaches, and gallants ; one in a French-hood
Went in, they tell me; and another was seen
In a velvet gown at the window; divers more
Pass in and out.

Face. They did pass through the doors then,
Or walls, I assure their eyesights, and their spectacles;
For here, Sir, are the keys, and here have been,
In this my pocket, now above twenty days:
And for before, I kept the fort alone there.
But that 'tis yet not deep in the afternoon,
I should believe my neighbours had seen double
Through the black pot, and made these apparitions !
For, on my faith to your worship, for these three weeks
And upwards, the door has not been open'd.

Love. Strange!
1 Nei. Good faith, I think I saw a coach.

2 Nei. And I too, I'd have been sworn.

Love. Do you but think it now? And but one coach ?

Is a very

4 Nei. We cannot tell, Sir : Jeremy

honest fellow.
Face. Did you see me at all ?
1 Nei. No; that we are sure on.
2 Nei. I'll be sworn o' that.
Love. Fine rogues to have your testimonies built on!

Re-enter THIRD NEIGHBOUR, with his tools.
3 Nei. Is Jeremy come ?

1 Nei. O, yes; you may leave your tools ;
We were deceived, he says.

2 Nei. He has had the keys;
And the door has been shut these three weeks.

3 Nei. Like enough.
Love. Peace, and get hence, you changelings.

76.-THE FALL OF THE MARQUIS OF MONTROSE.

CLARENDON. [EDWARD HYDE, Earl of Clarendon, was the third son of Henry Hyde, a gentleman of good fortune, of Dinton, in Wiltshire. He was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford ; became a student of the Middle Temple; and was returned to Parliament in 1640. Thenceforward his political career forms a considerable part of the history of his country. He was perhaps one of the most honest of the counsellors of Charles I., and the most virtuous in the profligate court of his

After the Restoration he rose to the highest offices in the State ; but his faithful services were eventually rewarded by disgrace and banishment. His History of the Great Rebellion' is one of those few books that are “for all time.” The following extract has been justly called “one of the finest passages in Lord Clarendon's History:"]—

son.

His design had always been to land in the Highlands of Scotland, before the winter season should be over, both for the safety of his embarkation, and that he might have time to draw those people together who, he knew, would be willing to repair to him, before it should be known at Edinburgh that he was landed in the kingdom. He had, by frequent messages, kept a constant correspondence with those principal heads of the clans who were most powerful in the Highlands, and were of known or unsuspected affection to the king, and advertised them of all his motions and designs. And by them acquainted those of the Lowlands of all his resolutions; who had promised, upon the first notice of his arrival, to resort with all their friends and followers to him.

Whether these men did really believe that their own strength would be sufficient to subdue their enemies, who were grown generally odious, or thought the bringing over troops of foreigners would lessen the numbers and affections of the natives, they did write very earnestly to the marquis, “to hasten his coming over with officers, arms, and ammunition; for which he should find hands enough ; and

gave

him notice, “ that the committee of estates at Edinburgh had sent again to the king to come over to them; and that the people were so impatient for his presence, that Argyle was compelled to consent to the invitation.” It is very probable that this made the greatest impression upon him. He knew very well how few persons there were about the king (Charles II.] who were like to continue firm in those principles, which could only confirm his majesty in his former resolutions against the persuasions and importunities of many others, who knew how to represent to him the desperateness of his condition any other way, than by repairing into Scotland upon any conditions. Montrose knew, that of the two factions there, which were not like to be reconciled, each of them were equally his implacable enemies; so that, which soever prevailed, he should be still in the same state, the whole kirk, of what temper soever, being alike malicious to him; and hearing likewise of the successive misfortunes in Ireland, he concluded, the king would not trust himself there. Therefore, upon the whole, and concluding that all his hopes from Germany and those northern princes would not increase the strength he had already, he caused, in the depth of the winter, those soldiers he had drawn together, which did not amount to above five hundred, to be embarked, and sent officers with them who knew country, with directions that they should land in such a place in the Highlands, and remain there, as they might well do, till he came to them or sent them orders. And then in another vessel, manned by people well known to him, and commanded by a captain very

faithful to the king, and who was well acquainted with that coast,

[ocr errors]

he embarked himself, and near one hundred officers, and landed in another creek, not far from the other place, whither his soldiers were directed. And both the one and the other party were set safely on shore in the places they designed; from whence the marquis himself, with some servants and officers, repaired presently to the house of a gentleman of quality, with whom he had corresponded, who expected him; by whom he was well received, and thought himself to be in security till he might put his affairs in some method : and therefore ordered his other small troops to contain themselves in those uncouth quarters, in which they were, and where he thought they were not like to be disturbed by the visitation of an enemy.

After he had stayed there a short time, it being in March, about the end of the year 1649, he quickly possessed himself of an old castle ; which, in respect of the situation in a country so impossible for any army to march in, he thought strong enough for his purpose: thither he conveyed the arms, ammunition and troops, which he had brought with him. And then he published his declaration, that he came with the king's commission, to assist those his good subjects, and to preserve them from oppression: that he did not intend to give any interruption to the treaty that he heard was entered into with his majesty; but, on the contrary, hoped that his being at the head of an army, how small soever, that was faithful to the king, might advance the same. However, he had given sufficient proof in his former actions, that if any agreement were made with the king, upon the first order from his majesty, he should lay down his arms, and dispose himself according to his majesty's good pleasure.” These declarations he sent to his friends to be scattered by them, and dispersed amongst the people, as they could be able. He writ likewise to those of the nobility, and the heads of the several clans, “ to draw such forces together, as they thought necessary to join with him ;” and he received answers from many of them by which they desired him, " to advance more into the land,” (for he was yet in the remotest parts of Caithness,) and assured him, “ that they would meet him with good numbers : ” and they did prepare so to do, some really; and others, with a purpose to betray him.

In this state stood the affair in the end of the year 1649: but because the unfortunate tragedy of that noble person succeeded so soon after, without the intervention of any notable circumstances to inter

The encou

rupt it, we will rather continue the relation of it in this place, than defer it to be resumed in the proper season ; . which quickly ensued, in the beginning of the next year. The Marquis of Argyle was vigilant enough to observe the motion of an enemy that was so formidable to him; and had present information of his arrival in the Highlands, and of the small forces which he had brought with him. The Parlia ment was then sitting at Edinburgh, their messenger being returned to them from Jersey, with an account, “ that the king would treat with their commissioners at Breda ;" for whom they were preparing their instructions. The alarm of Montrose's being landed startled them all, and

gave them no leisure to think of anything else than of sending forces to hinder the recourse of others to join with him. They immediately sent Colonel Straghan, a diligent and active officer, with a choice party of the best horse they had, to make all possible haste towards him, and to prevent the insurrections, which they feared would be in several parts of the Highlands. And within few days after, David Lesley followed with a stronger party of horse and foot. ragement the Marquis of Montrose received from his friends, and the unpleasantness of the quarters in which he was, prevailed with him to march, with these few troops, more into the land. And the Highlanders flocking to him from all quarters, though ill armed, and worse disciplined, made him undervalue any enemy who, he thought, was yet like to encounter him. Straghan made such haste, that the Earl of Sutherland, who at least pretended to have gathered together a body of fifteen hundred men to meet Montrose, chose rather to join with Straghan: others did the like, who had made the same promises, or stayed at home to expect the event of the first encounter. quis was without any body of horse to discover the motion of an enemy, but depended upon all necessary intelligence from the affection of the people ; which he believed to be the same it was when he left them. But they were much degenerated; the tyranny of Argyle, and his having caused very many to be barbarously murdered, without any form of law or justice, who had been in arms with Montrose, notwithstanding all acts of pardon and indemnity, had so broken their hearts, that they were ready to do all offices that might gratify and oblige him. So that Straghan was within a small distance of him, before he heard of his approach; and those Highlanders, who had seemed to

The mar

« AnteriorContinuar »