« ZurückWeiter »
to the necessity of moistening their parched lips with salt water, mixed with a few drops of brandy.
It was near the end of May that they landed on South Uist, and by that time their condition was such, that it appeared impossible to prolong their lives unless by surrendering themselves to their pursuers. Enduring privations of every kind, fleeing from island to island and from rock to rock, tormented by hunger and thirst, unprotected from the cold, and constantly exposed to every kind of weather, Charles had displayed throughout, not only firmness, but cheerfulness. His companions acknowledge with one voice, that not one of the party displayed more courage amid dangers and sufferings of every kind, or more readiness to snatch at every little incident that might afford a momentary diversion to his drooping crew. Mention has already been made of his skill in dressing fish and baking cakes. When their pipes were all broken, he taught them to supply the loss by means of quills, which he stuck into one another, and thus frequently manufactured for himself a hookah of very respectable length. When the rest of the party were sinking under their sufferings, he frequently succeeded in reviving their courage, by holding out the hopes of more fortunate times, or by singing to them some of their own inspiring national airs.* With all his efforts, however, to bear up against his sufferings, it became evident to his faithful followers that his health was begining to give way. He had hitherto escaped his pursuers only by constantly changing his place of refuge, but how was he to continue to do so, if he fell seriously ill ?
After the battle of Culloden, as soon as the Duke of Cumberland had satisfied himself that the last remnant of the Jacobite army had broken up and dispersed, he divided his troops into small detachments, that were sent through Scotland in all directions, in search of fugitive Jacobites, and particularly of the “ Young Pretender.” Several
* See “The Prince's Wanderings and Escape” in the Jacobite Memoirs, and the “Account of the Young Pretender's Escape" in the Appendix to the Lockhart Papers. A still more glowing account of Charles's conduct is given in a work published under the title of Ascanius, from which Pichot appears to have borrowed somewhat incautiously. The Prince is there made to deliver a number of very fine and very long speeches, which are altogether inconsistent with Charles's general character, seeing that he was at all times a man of deeds rather than of words. This alone would be sufficient to inspire doubts of the authority of the work, and these doubts are confirmed by its material variation, in many parts, from the accounts furnished by those who were the Prince's constant companions during those days of peril and suffering.
of these detachments were under the command of General Campbell (afterwards Duke of Argyle) and of his son, Lieutenant Colonel Campbell. General Campbell had likewise some small ships of war placed at his disposal, with the aid of which he searched several of the islands, made a number of prisoners at Barra, and even ransacked the distant islet of St. Kilda, whose inhabitants had scarcely even heard of the war of which Great Britain had, for nearly a year, been the theatre. Going from place to place, General Campbell arrived at South Uist, whither he had reason to believe he had tracked the fugitives, and where he felt confident the objects of his pursuit would not again escape him. Success seemed, indeed, almost certain. South Uist is only twenty miles long, and three or four miles broad ; hilly on the eastern, but flat and arable on the western side. Over this narrow space two thousand soldiers now dispersed themselves, in hopes of earning the promised blood-money. The only chance of escape for Charles appeared to be the coast, but that was guarded by ships of war of every size. Every boat was strictly examined, at every ferry there was a guard, and any one leaving the island without a passport was declared guilty of high treason.
CHARLES IN CONSTANT DANGER OF BEING TAKEN, MEETS
WITH FLORA MACDONALD, WHO ASSISTS IN HIS ESCAPE
On arriving in South Uist, Charles sent his honest attendant Burke to the old Laird of Clanranald, the owner of the greater part of the island, whose son had fought at Culloden. The aged chief fully justified the confidence reposed in him. No sooner had he been informed of the melancholy plight in which the Prince had arrived, than he went in quest of him. Charles, meanwhile, had found refuge in a small hut, the entrance to which was so low that it was necessary to creep in on all fours. In this mean shed he and his companions subsisted sparingly on shell-fish. Clanranald supplied them with better food and with fresh apparel, of which the Prince stood sorely in need; for, after all that he had endured in the course
of the month which had elapsed since the battle of Culloden, it may easily be believed that his garments were reduced to mere tatters. Clanranald did not, however, confine himself to these acts of service. He removed Charles from his wretched abode to a small house at Corodale, in the centre of the island, where he was likely to enjoy greater security. He could there receive early information of any danger which threatened him, and to this end he had appointed a number of the inhabitants to keep a close watch on the movement of the troops, so that Charles might always be apprized in time when it was necessary for him to take to the hills, or to go over to some other point of the island. For this purpose, guides and a boat were always kept in readiness. From South Uist he sent the faithful MacLeod in Campbell's boat to the mainland, to Lochiel and Secretary Murray, partly to obtain information how matters stood, and partly to procure from the latter a fresh supply of money.
At Corodale his health improved, and he was able, occasionally, to amuse himself in fishing and shooting. He was constantly in danger, however, of being taken, had often to change his quarters