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Monmouth. His conduct in the performance of this im-
politic and cruel commission has left a stain on his memory
scarcely to be glossed over by the brilliancy of his subse-
quent merits. Bred from his infancy in an enthusiastic ven-
eration to monarchy, and to the Established Church, his
hatred to the Whigs, as they were then called in Scotland,
was almost a part of his nature ; and, under the inf lence of
a temper which never allowed him to be lukewarm in any
pursuit, his zeal degenerated on this occasion with a fright-
ful facility into a spirit of persecution. He watched and
dispersed, with the most severe vigilance, the devotional
meetings of those perverse and miserable sectaries, and
forced thousands of them to subscribe, at the point of the
sword, to an oath utterly subversive of the doctrines which
they most cherished. But this was not the worst. On the
1st of July, 1679, having attacked a conventicle on Loudoun
Hill, in Ayrshire, the neighboring peasants rose suddenly on
a detachment of his troops, and, with that almost supernatu-
ral power which a pure thirst of vengeance alone will some-
times confer on mere physical force, defeated them with
considerable loss. The fancied disgrace annexed to this
check raised Graham's fury to the highest pitch, and he per-
mitted himself to retaliate on the unarmed Whigs by cruelties


inconsistent with the character of a brave man. The track
of his march was now uniformly marked by carnage ; the
refusal of his test was punished with instant death ; and Ihe
practice of these horrible excesses, which was continued for
some months, procured for him the appellation of " Bloody
Claverhouse " ; by which he is still occasionally mentioned
in that part of Scotland. He apologized for these horrors
by coldly remarking, that " if terror ended or prevented war,
it was true mercy."

It may be concluded that this intemperance had the full
approbation of the Crown, for we find that he was appointed
in 1082 Sheriff of the Shire of Wigton; received soon after
a commission of Captain in what was called the Royal Regi-
ment of Horse ; was sworn a Privy-Councillor in Scotland ;
and had a grant from the .King of the Castle of Dudhope, and
the office of Constable of Dundee. Nor was it less acceptable
such is the rage of party, especially when excited by re-
ligious discord to the Scottish Episcopalians, who from that
time seemed to have reposed in him the highest confidence.
James, however, in forming on his accession a new Privy
Council for that country, was prevailed on to omit his name,
on the ground of his having connected himself in marriage
with the fanatical family of Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald,
but that umbrage was soon removed, and in 1686 he was
restored to his seat in the Council, and appointed a Brigadier-
General; in 1688 promoted to the rank of Major-General ;
and, on the 12th of November in that year, created by
patent to him, and the heirs male of his body, with remain-
der, in default of such issue, to his other heirs male, Viscount
of Dundee, and Baron Graham of Claverhouse, in Scotland.
The gift of these dignities was, in fact, the concluding act of
James's expiring government. Graham, who was then at-
tending that unhappy Prince in London, used every effort
that good sense and high spirit could suggest, to induce him to
remain in his capital, and await there with dignified firmness


the arrival of the Prince of Orange ; undertaking for himself
to collect, with that promptitude which was almost peculiar
to him, ten thousand of the King's disbanded troops, and at
their head to annihilate the Dutch forces which William had
brought with him. Perhaps there existed not on the face of
the earth another man so likely to redeem such an engage-
ment ; but James, depressed and irresolute, refused the offer.
Struck, however, with the zeal and bravery, and indeed with
the personal affection, which had dictated it, he intrusted to
Dundee the direction of all his military affairs in Scotland,
whither that nobleman repaired just at the time that James
fled from London.

When he arrived at Edinburgh he found a Convention sit-
ting, as in London, of the Estates of the country, in which
he took his place. He complained to that assembly that a
design had been formed to assassinate him ; required that all
strangers should be removed from the town ; and, his request
having been denied, he left Edinburgh at the head of a troop
of horse, which he had hastily formed there of soldiers who
had deserted in England from his own regiment. In the
short interval afforded by the discussion of this matter, he
formed his plans. After a conference with the Duke of
Gordon, who then held the Castle for James, he set out for
Stirling, where he called a Parliament of the friends of that
Prince, and the revolutionists in Scotland saw their influ-
ence, even within a few days, dispelled as it were by magic, in
obedience to his powerful energies. He was, in a manner,
without troops, depending on the affections of those around
him, which he had heated to enthusiasm, when a force sent
by the Convention to seize his person seemed to remind him
that he must have an army. He retired therefore into Loch-
aber; summoned a meeting of the chiefs of clans in the
Highlands, and presently found himself at the head of six
thousand of the hardy natives, well armed and accoutred,
He now wrote to James, who, in compliance with French


counsels, was wasting his time and means in Ireland, con-
juring him to embark with a part of his army for Scotland,
" whore," as he told the king, " there were no regular troops,
except four regiments, which William had lately sent down ;
where his presence would fix the wavering, and intimidate
the timid ; and where hosts of shepherds would start up war-
riors at the first wave of his banner upon their mountains."
With the candor and plainness of a soldier and a faithful
servant, he besought James to be content with the exercise of
his own religion, and to leave in Ireland the Earl of Melfort,
Secretary of State, between whom and himself some jealousy
existed which might be prejudicial to a service in which they
were alike devotedly sincere, however they might differ as to
the best means of advancing it. James rejected his advice.
" Dundee was furnished," says Burnet, " with some small
store of arms and ammunition, and had kind promises, en-
couraging him, and all that joined with him."

Left now to his own discretion and his own resources, he
displayed, together with the greatest military qualifications,
and the most exalted generosity and disinterestedness, all the
subtlety of a refined politician. On his arrival at Inverness
he found that a discord had long subsisted between the
people of the town and some neighboring chiefs, on an al-
leged debt from the one to the other, and that the two parties,
with their dependants, had assembled in arms to decide the
quarrel. He heard the allegations of the principals on each
side, with an affectation of the exactness of judicial inquiry,
and then, having convened the entire mass of the conflicting
parties in public, reproached them with the most cutting
severity, that they, " who were all equally friends to King
James, should be preparing, at a time when he most needed
their friendship, to draw those daggers against each other
which ought to be plunged only into the breasts of his ene-
mies." He then paid from his own purse the debt in dis-
pute ; and the late litigants, charmed by the grandeur of his


conduct, instantly placed themselves in a cordial union under
his banner. To certain other chiefs, upon whose estates the
Earl of Argyle. who sought to restore his importance by at-
taching himself to the revolutionary party, had ancient claims
in law, and to others, who had obtained grants from the
Crown of some of that nobleman's forfeited lands, he repre-
sented the peril in which they would be placed by the suc-
cess of William's enterprise on the British throne, and
gained them readily to his beloved cause. He addressed
himself with signal effect to all the powerful men of the
north of Scotland; fomented the angry feelings of .hose
who thought themselves neglected by the new government;
flattered the vanity of those who, indifferent to the affairs of
either party, sought simply for power and importance ; cor-
rupted several officers of the regiments which were in
preparation to be sent against him ; and even managed to
maintain a constant, correspondence with some members
of the Privy Council, by whom he was regularly apprised
of the plans contrived from time to time to counteract his
gigantic efforts. Nay, he contrived to detach, as it were in
a moment, from Lord Murray, heir to the Earl of Athol,
a body of a thousand men, raised by that nobleman on his
father's estates ; a defection of Highland vassals which had
never till then occurred. " While Murray," says my author,
u was reviewing them, they quitted their ranks ; ran to an
adjoining brook ; filled their bonnets with water ; drank to
King James's health; and, with pipes playing, marched off
to Lord Dundee."

So acute and experienced a commmJer as William could
not be long unconscious of the importance of such an enemy.
He despatched into Scotland, at the head of between five and
six thousand picked troops, General M'Kay, who had long
served him in Holland with the highest military reputation.
In the mean time, James, who had been apprised of this dis-
position, sent orders to Dundee not to hazard a battle till


the arrival of a force from Ireland, which he now promised.
Two months, however, elapsed before it appeared, which
Dundee, burning with impatience, was necessitated to pass
in the mountains, in marches of unexampled rapidity, in
furious partial attacks, and masterly retreats. It has been
well said of him, that " the first messenger of his approach
was generally his own army in fight, and that the first intel-
ligence of his retreat, brought accounts that he was already
out of his enemy's reach." The long-expected aid at length
arrived, in the last week of June, 1689, consisting only of
five hundred raw and ill-provided recruits, but he instantly
made ready for action. He advanced to meet M'Kay, who
was preparing to invest the Castle of Blair, in Athol, a
fortress the possession whereof enabled James's army to
maintain a free communication between the northern and
southern Highlands, and determined to attack William's
troops on a small plain at the mouth of the pass of Killi-
cranky, after they should have marched through that re-
markable defile, on their road to Blair. On the 16th of
July, at noon, M'Kay's army arrived on the plain, and dis-
covered Dundee in array on the opposite hills. He had
resolved, for reasons abounding with military genius, to
defer his onset till the evening, and M'Kay, by various ex-
pedi^nts vainly tempted him during the day to descend : at
length, half an hour before sunset, his Highlanders rushed
down with the celerity and the fury of lions, and William's
army was in an instant completely routed. Dundee, who
had fought on foot, now mounted his horse, and flew towards
the pass, to cut off their retreat, when, looking back, he found
that he had outstripped his men, and was nearly alone. He
halted, and, wavering his arm in the air, pointed to the pass,
as a signal to them to hasten their march, and to occupy it.
At that moment a ball from a musket aimed at him lodged
in his body, immediately under the arm so raised. He fell
from his horse, and, fainting, was carried off the field ; but


soon after recovering his senses for a few seconds, he hastily
inquired " how things went," and on being answered " all
was well," " Then," said he, " I am well," and expired.
William, on hearing of his death, said, " The war in Scot-
land is now ended."

The memory of this heroic partisan has been cherished in
the hearts, and celebrated by the pens, of numbers of his
countrymen. A poet thus pathetically addresses his shade,
and bewails the loss sustained by Scotland in his death :

" Ultime Scotorum, potuit quo sospite solo

Libertas patriae salva fuisse tuce.
Tc moricnte novos accepit Scotia cives,

Accepitque novos to moriente Deos.
Ilia tibi superesse negat, tu non potes illi.

Ergo Caledonia, nomen inane, vale !
Tuque vale gentis priscae fortissimo ductor,

Optime Scotorum, atque ultimo, Grame, vale 1 "

And Sir John Dalrymple has left us some particulars of his
military character exquisitely curious and interesting. " In
his marches," says that author, " his men frequently wanted
bread, salt, and all liquors except water, during several weeks,
yet were ashamed to complain, when they observed that their
commander lived not more delicately than themselves. If
anything good was brought him to eat, he sent it to a faint
or sick soldier. If a soldier was weary, he offered to carry
his arms. He kept those who were with him from sinking
under their fatigues, not so much by exhortation as by pre-
venting them from attending to their sufferings ; for this
reason Ii3 walked on foot with the men ; now by the side of
one clan, and anon by that of another : he amused them with
jokes ; he flattered them with his knowledge of their gen-
ealogies ; he animated them by a recital of the deeds of their
ancestors, and of the verses of their bards. It was one of
his maxims that no general should fight with an irregular
army unless he was acquainted with every man he com-


manded. Yet, with these habits of familiarity, the severity
of his discipline was dreadful : the only punishment he in-
flicted was death. All other punishments, he said, disgraced
a gentleman, and all who were with him were of that rank ;
but that death was a relief from the consciousness of crime.
It is reported of him that having seen a youth fly in his first
action, he pretended he had sent him to the rear on a mes-
sage. The youth fled a second time he brought him to
the front of the army, and saying that ' a gentleman's son
ought not to fall by the hands of a common executioner,' shot
him with his own pistol."

In society he is said to have been as much distinguished
by a delicacy and softness of manners and temper, and by
the most refined politeness, as he was by his sternness in war.
Sir Walter Scott, in his Romance of Old Mortality, in which
facts and fiction are blended with an uncommon felicity,
gives us the following picture of his person and demeanor,
evidently not the work of fancy, and probably in substance
the result of respectable and inveterate tradition :

" Graham of Claverhouse was rather low of stature, and
slightly, though elegantly, formed ; his gesture, language, and
manners, were those of one whose life had been spent among
the noble and the gay. His features exhibited even femi-
nine regularity. An oval face, a straight and well-formed
nose, dark hazel eyes, a complexion just sufficiently tinged
with brown to save it from the charge of effeminacy, a short
upper lip, curved upwards like that of a Grecian statue, and
slightly shaded by small mustachios of light brown, joined to
a profusion of long curled locks of the same color, which fell
down on each side of his face, contributed to form such a
countenance as limners like to paint, and ladies to look upon.
The severity of his character, as well as the higher attributes
of undaunted and enterprising valor which even his enemies
were compelled to admit, lay concealed under an exterior
which seemed adapted to the court or the saloon rather than


to the field. The same gentleness and gayety of expression
which reigned in his features seemed to inspire his actions
and gestures ; and, on the whole, he was generally esteemed,
ai first sight, rather qualified to be the votary of pleasure
than of ambition. But under this soft exterior was hidden a
spirit unbounded in daring and in aspiring, yet cautious and
prudent as that of Machiavel himself. Profound in politics,
and imbued, of course, with that disregard for individual
rights which its intrigues usually generate, this leader was
cool in pursuing success, careless of death himself, and ruth-
le3 in inflicting it upon others. Such are the characters
formed in times of civil discord, when the highest qualities,
perverted by party spirit, and inflamed by habitual opposi-
tion, are too often combined with vices and excesses, which
C* jprive them at once of their merit and of their lustre."



SOUND the fife, and cry the slogan,
Let the pribroch shake the air
With its wild triumphal music,

Worthy of the freight we bear.
Let the ancient hills of Scotland

Hear once more the battle-song
Swell within their glens and valleys

As the clansmen march along !
Never from the field of combat,

Never from the deadly fray,
Was a nobler trophy carried

Than we bring with us to-day,
Never, since the valiant Douglas

On his dauntless bosom bore
Good King Robert's heart the priceless

To our dear Redeemer's shore !
Lo ! we bring with us the hero,

Lo ! we bring the conquering Graeme,
Crowned as best beseems a victor

From the altar of his fame ;
Fresh and bleeding from the baftle

Whence his spirit took its flight,

* John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, was killed at
the battle of Kflliecrankie in Scotland.


Midst the crashing charge of squadrons,

And the thunder of the fight !
Strike, I say, the notes of triumph,

As we march o'er moor and lea 1
Is there any here will venture

To bewail our dead Dundee ?
Let the widows of the traitors

Weep until their eyes are dim !
Wail ye may full well for Scotland,

Let none dare to mourn for him !
See ! above his glorious body

Lies the royal banner's fold ;
See ! his valiant blood is mingled

With its crimson and its gold.
See how calm he looks, and stately,

Like a warrior on his shield,
Waiting till the flush of morning

Breaks along the battle-field 1
See never more, my comrades,

Shall we see that falcon eye
Redden with its inward lightning,

As the hour of fight drew nigh !
Never shall we hear the voice that

Clearer than the trumpet's call,
Bade us strike for King and Country,

Bade us win the field, or fall !
Oa the heights of Killiecrankie

Yester-morn our army lay :
Slowly rose the mist in columns

From the river's broken way ;
Hoarsely roared the swollen torrent,

And the Pass was wrapt in gloom,
When the clansmen rose together

From their lair amidst the broom.


Then we belted on our tartans,

And our bonnets down we drew,
And we felt our broadswords' edges,

And we proved them to be true ;
And we prayed the prayer of soldiers,

And we cried the gathering-cry,
And we clasped the hands of kinsmen,

And we swore to do or die !
Then our leader rode before us

On his war-horse black as night,
Well the Cameronian rebels

Know that charger in the fight !
And a cry of exultation

From the bearded warriors rose ;
For we loved the house of Claver'se,

And we thought of good Montrose.
But he raised his hand for silence

" Soldiers ! I have sworn a vow:
Ere the evening star shall glisten

On Schehallion's lofty brow,
Either we shall rest in triumph,

Or another of the Graemes
Shall have died in battle-harness

For his Country and King James I
Think upon the Royal Martyr,

Think of what his race endure,
Think of him whom butchers murdered

On the field of Magus Muir :
By his sacred blood I charge ye,

By the ruined hearth and shrine,
6y the blighted hopes of Scotland,

By your injuries and mine,
Strike this day as if the anvil

Lay beneath your blows the while,


Be they covenanting traitors,

Or the brood of false Argyle !
Strike ! and drive the trembling rebels

Backwards o'er the stormy Forth ;
Let them tell their pale Convention

How they fared within the North.
Let them tell that Highland honor

Is not to be bought nor sold,
That we scorn their prince's anger

As we loathe his foreign gold.
Strike ! and when the fight is over,

If ye look in vain for me,
Where the dead are lying thickest,

Search for him that was Dundee ! "

Loudly then the hills re-echoed

"With our answer to his call,
But a deeper echo sounded

In the bosoms of us all.
For the lands of wide Breadalbane,

Not a man who heard him speak
Would that day have left the battle.

Burning eye and flushing cheek
Told the clansmen's fierce emotion,

And they harder drew their breath ;
For their souls were strong within them,

.Stronger than the grasp of death.
Soon we heard a challenge-trumpet

Sounding in the Pass below,
And the distant tramp of horses,

And the voices of the foe :
Down we crouched amid the bracken,

Till the Lowland ranks drew near,
Panting like the hounds in summer,

When they scent the stately deer


From the dark defile emerging,

Next we saw the squadrons come,
Leslie's foot and Leven's troopers

Marching to the tuck of drum ;
Thropgh the scattered wood of birches,

O'er the broken ground and heath,
Wound the long battalion slowly,

Till they gained the plain beneath ;
Then we bounded from our covert,

Judge how looked the Saxons then,
When they saw the rugged mountains

Start to life with armed men !
Like a tempest down the ridges

Swept the hurricane of steel,
Rose the slogan of Macdonald,

Flashed the broadsword of Lochiel !
Vainly sped the withering volley

'Mongst the foremost of our band,
On we poured until we met them,

Foot to foot, and hand to hand.
Horse and man went down like drift-wood

When the floods are black at Yule,
And their carcasses are whirling

In the Garry's deepest pool.
Horse and man went down before us,

Living foe there tarried none
On the field of Killiecrankie,

When that stubborn fight was done !

And the evening star was shining
On Schehallion's distant head,

When we wiped our bloody broadswords,
And returned to count the dead.

There we found him gashed and gory.
Stretched upon the cumbered plain,


As he told us where to seek him,

In the thickest of the slain.
And a smile was on his visage,

For within his dying ear
Pealed the joyful note of triumph,

And the clansmen's clamorous cheer ?
So, amidst the battle's thunder,

Shot, and steel, and scorching flame,
In the glory of his manhood

Passed the spirit of the Graeme !

Open wide the vaults of Atholl,

Where the bones of heroes rest,
Open wide the hallowed portals

To receive another guest !
Last of Scots, and last of freemen,

Last of all that dauntless race,
Who would rather die unsullied

Than outlive the land's disgrace !
O thou lion-hearted warrior !

Reck not of the after-time ;
Honor may be deemed dishonor,

Loyalty be called a crime.
Sleep in peace with kindred ashes

Of the noble and the true,
Hands that never failed their country,

Hearts that never baseness knew.
Sleep ! and till the latest trumpet

Wakes the dead from earth and sea,
Scotland shall not boast a braver

Chieftain than our own Dundee I



IT chanced that the birthday of two twin-sisters, whose be-
havior had been always very good, was near; I prom-
ised that, on this occasion, the little present they had so
well deserved should be delivered to them by an angel.
They were on the stretch of curiosity regarding this phenom-
enon. I had chosen Mignon for the part ; and accordingly,
at the appointed day, I had her suitably equipped in a
long light snow-white dress. She was, of course, provided
with a golden girdle round her waist, and a golden fillet on
her hair. I at first proposed to omit the wings ; but the
young ladies who were decking her, insisted on a pair of
large golden pinions, in preparing which they meant to
show their highest art. Thus did the strange apparition,
with a lily in the one hand, and a little basket in the other,
glide in among the girls : she surprised even me. " There
comes the angel ! " said I. The children all shrank back ;
at last they cried : " It is Mignon ! " yet they durst not
venture to approach the wondrous figure.

" Here are your gifts," said she, putting dow,n the basket
They gathered around her, they viewed, they felt, they
questioned her.

" Art though an angel ? " asked one of them

" I wish I were," said Mignon.

Why dost thou bear a lily ? "


u So pure and so open should my heart be ; then were 1

Online Libraryi00bostFavorite authors in prose and poetry → online text (page 52 of 66)