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the dirks and battle-axes-all its sights and sounds have in them something wild and eerie, from the fierce shriek of the pibroch in the front of battle, to the mourn. ful wailing of the coronach above the dead man in his shroud-from the minstrel touching his rude harp to music of barbaric sweetness, to the wild-eyed wizard girding on his robe of raw bull's-hide and lying down to catch prophetic voices in the roaring of the lone cascade.
get it out of her head that everything that | over hills and valleys, the gathering of the happened was somehow or other her fault. warlike clans, the glowing tartans, the Well, perhaps in a sense it was. She badges, the terrific slogan, the glitter of had chosen to marry Algernon Cathers contrary to the advice of older and wiser people, and must take the consequences. He was dead, but such a life as theirs had been left ghosts behind it. Happily for her she was young, and the ghosts that haunt young people lack persistence. They come and go, and change their colors like the flower-beds in a garden, blue and yellow at one time of year, and red and purple at another. It was only in the winter, it was only when you were old, that they were always the same, that they sat all day staring at you with the same dull, stony faces, till you felt like throwing your teacup at them, and bidding them begone. Her granddaughter was devoting herself to good works of various kinds, and seemed to her to be making a hecatomb of political economy, and offering it to her troubles. It was to be hoped some one would interfere before she had pauperized the whole neighborhood, which she seemed to be in a fair way of doing.
The letter ended, "You say that you are coming back, and if so in the name of sense and reason let it be as a free man this time, and not upon a ticket-of-leave, not with a rope round your leg, like a goat that is tethered out for a day, and liable to be plucked back the minute he is getting a mouthful. Four thousand miles, allow me to assure you, is an inconvenient distance to run backwards and forwards, so let those ridiculous people who have kept you there so long know that you are not going to be at their beck and call any longer; that there are other people at this end of the world who are worth at least as much as they are, and who cannot any longer do without you."
From Temple Bar. LOCHIEL: THE ULYSSES OF THE HIGHLANDS.
THE romance of the ancient Highland kingdoms has a color of its own. Its themes are not, like those of the romance of chivalry, of love and love's adventures; its tales are not of vows and tokens, of soft lutes sighing in the bowers of ladies, of knights in golden armor glittering in the lists. Its scenes are, like its own deep forests and dark mountain gorges, full of Gothic gloom and savage splendor. The fiery cross wandering like a meteor
Among such sights and sounds a boy was born, in February, 1629, at Kulchorn Castle, a pile of grey towers rising under the shadow of Ben Cruachan, on an island of Loch Awe. His mother was a Campbell. His father, who died before the boy was old enough to recollect him, was the eldest son of Cameron of Lochiel, one of the most famous of the Gaelic kings, a shrewd and fierce old chief, who for sev enty years had lived amidst a whirl of wild adventures, and who had been long regarded with a double terror, partly as a warrior and partly as a seer. His ancestry went back, through times of history, into times of fable-from a chief who fought for Mary at Corrichy, to a chief who fought for James at Flodden Field; from John of Ochtry, who bore at Halidon the bloody heart of Douglas, to that Angus who, three hundred years before, is said to have rescued Fleance from the vengeance of Macbeth. The old man desired to give his grandson a more courtly education than he had himself received; and Ewen, as the boy was called, was brought up by the Marquis of Argyle, who placed him, at the age of twelve, under a tutor of his own choice at Inverary. But Ewen had no taste for books; and too often his perceptor saw, in agony of spirit, his pupil rush away from spelling-books and grammars, to hunt foxes and red hares among the neighboring glens, to fill his creel with fish out of Loch Fyne, or to listen, for half a summer's day together, to some tattered pilgrim, the Homer of the villages, who could pour forth endless stories of the ancient heroes-of Wallace at the Brig of Stirling, of Bruce swimming from the bloodhound, of Black Donald's exploits over the Lords of the Isles, or of the vengeance of Allan-a-Sop. In spite, however, of his tutor's lamentations, at sixteen Ewen was, in mind and body, worthy of his race; tall, well-built, fresh-colored, eagle-eyed; of that high temper to which dishonor is more ter
rible than death; and of the same innate | gyle's trim troops fly like hares before the sagacity which had so often made the clansmen of Montrose. A month later, by enemies of his grandfather, who saw their a turn of fate, he formed part of that softplans outwitted, mutter that the old chief must have sold his soul to Satan.
footed band which stole upon Montrose at Philiphaugh, and started like ghosts out of the morning mist upon his sleepy camp.
Among the prisoners taken at that action was Sir Robert Spottiswood, an ancient friend of Lochiel's father, and of his grandfather before him. The old man was brought up for judgment at St. Andrews, and condemned to be beheaded. Lochiel, who was present at the trial, watched the proceedings with the keenest interest, and was, like all the rest of the spectators, struck with wonder and admiration at the calm and noble bearing of the prisoner, and by the moving eloquence of his defence. On the night before the execution he made his way to the cell door. The jailer had strict orders to admit no visitor. But Lochiel was the favorite of Argyle. The door opened, and he entered.
While he was still at Inverary the old warrior died. Ewen, at sixteen, found himself the chieftain of his clan. He did not for some months, however, put on the eagle's feather, or take command of his wild tribe among the hills. Argyle desired that he should go to Oxford. The marquis was about to make a journey into England. Donald Cameron, Ewen's uncle, took, for the time, his nephew's place as leader of the clan; and Lochiel, as he must now be called, set out among the men-at-arms who rode with Argyle's carriage. The party never saw the oriels and quadrangles of the ancient city; but Lochiel, within the space of a few months, saw much stirring life, and gained a kind of knowledge which is very little to be learnt from deans and doctors. One of the first of his adventures might, however, Before he left the cell Lochiel's whole very well have proved to be the last. At destiny was altered. Sir Robert, finding Stirling, where the party halted, the pesti-him the son of his old friend, spoke with lence was raging. The utmost care was necessary. Argyle himself, with a prudence quite his own, refused to stir outside his coach. But when the party was about to start, Lochiel had disappeared. The marquis was in terror; squires and pages ran wildly up and down the city; and presently the object of this agitation was discovered affably conversing with the inmates of a hovel, every one of whom had got the plague. At Berwick, where the party made a longer stay, Lochiel cheered the time by fighting duels in the streets with the gay youths of the city. But this amusement was soon interrupted. Montrose was marching into Fife, and Argyle was compelled to mount in haste and gallop at fall speed to Castle Camp bell. That ancient pile, which stood in a wild glen among the Ochil hills, had once been known, together with its stream, by names of strange romantic sound. The castle had been Castle Gloom, and the waters which rolled past its walls, the waters of the stream of Grief. Within this ominous tower Lochiel had some experience of a siege. A fierce band of the Macleans attacked the fort. It was not taken; but the defenders showed themselves so little lion-hearted that Lochiel bluntly told the governor that his quaking poltroons deserved hanging, and himself among them. Then came, as in Othello's story, battles, fortunes, and disastrous chances. At Kilsyth, Lochiel saw Ar
him long and earnestly about the cause for which he was condemned to suffer. He found a willing hearer. Lochiel was by natural bent a cavalier. In secret, Montrose had long been his hero. And his own sagacity had taught him that Argyle was false, cunning, and cold-hearted. These things he now heard solemnly impressed upon him by a voice which was no longer of this world. He left the cell at midnight, his heart beating, and the tears streaming from his eyes. The next morning, from a window opposite the scaffold, he saw the prisoner, with cheek still ruddy, and with eagle eyes that looked proudly on the crowd, mount the steps, and lay his grey head on the block. The death of a brave man confirmed his words. From that moment Lochiel determined to follow his own course, to cast off Argyle's authority, and to take, without delay, command of his wild kingdom on the uplands of Ben Nevis, and along the rocky ranges of Glen Roy.
Indeed, there were reasons why he should not linger. His uncle Donald had turned out a sluggard; and his clan, which had received some tidings of his character, were already looking for him eagerly. Argyle, finding his mind fixed, made no attempt to thwart him; and in December, 1646, Lochiel started for the Highlands. At the news of his approach his tribesmen mustered and marched out to meet him; and thus, with colors flying and pipes
playing, he came to his ancestral resi- | discovered that, against Lochiel's uncle, dence, Torr Castle, on Loch Lochy. He was not yet quite eighteen.
And now the eyes of friends and of ene mies were bent alike upon him. A chief, at the beginning of his reign, was virtually on his probation. His empire over his wild clansmen had to be established by his own capacity. A coward or a fool, set over that fierce host, was not regarded simply with contempt, but was fortunate if he escaped, to use Dalgetty's phrase, "a dirk-thrust in his wame." On the other hand, a great chief was the idol of his tribe. The minstrels were never weary of singing, nor the people weary of hearing, of the splendor of his rush to victory, or of the craft and skill with which he could stalk the wariest mountain stag, or thrust his spear into the fiercest wolf. But first his powers as a warrior and a hunter had to be set clear before all eyes. Lochiel had now to show what blood ran in his veins.
it was an easier policy to bluster than to pay; and on Lochiel's arrival he soothed his soul with the reflection, that against so young a leader that policy would certainly prove easier still. He soon found out his error. Before he knew it, Lochiel, with five hundred men behind him, was marching down on his domain. Keppoch, who began with his old policy of bluster, wavered, put his claymore back into its scabbard, and sent a herald with the money.
Lochiel, burning for battle, regarded such a victory with disgust. But he was soon to have his heart's desire. The Earl of Glencairn, after the defeat of Worcester, summoned the clans, as volunteers, to fight for their uncrowned king. Lochiel, with seven hundred claymores, was the first to join him. Then came adventures thick and fast. Wherever the thickest of the fighting fell, there was Lochiel with his seven hundred.
Glencairn had one evening pitched his camp at Tulluch, a village approached only by a steep and narrow pass, in which Lochiel was posted. A large force of the enemy was known to be at hand; but an immediate attack was not expected. a sudden, in the twilight of the morning, the scouts came running in. The enemy were approaching in great numbers, evidently resolved to force their way through the ravine.
An opportunity was not likely to be wanting. The little kingdom of the clan Cameron was girdled on all sides by the estates of rival princes, Campbells, Stewarts, Gordons, Macintoshes, Macphersons, Macdonalds, and Macleans. Every one of these sovereigns was either at daggers drawn with all the rest, or ready at any moment to become so. No reader of "The Legend of Montrose" will have forgotten the gathering of the clans at the Castle of Darnlinvarach: the assembly of the chiefs, the fire glittering in the eyes, the dirks ready at every instant to fly out of the scabbards, the rival pipers strutting up and down, each piping for his life to drown the rest, the sleeping-quarters settled jealously apart, in the barn and the stables, the malt-kiln and the loft. Some of the feuds between the clans were as old Lilburn himself was at their as the quarrel on which, two centuries and head. The peril was extreme; for their a half before, Lochiel's ancestors and the mere numbers were, in open ground, sufancestors of Macintosh had fought their ficient to cut Glencairn's entire force to immortal fight at Perth, in the days of the pieces. Lochiel sent off a messenger to Fair Maid. Others were disputes of yes-warn the general to retire into a place of terday; and one of these Lochiel found ready to his hands.
Lochiel, who had lain down on the heather, wrapped up in his plaid, was instantly aroused. The night was frosty, and a thin veil of mist hung above the valley. He climbed a lofty pinnacle of rock, from which he could plainly see the horses, the red coats, the glittering mail, and the dancing colors of the English soldiers.
safety. Then he prepared to hold the way to his last man.
Scarcely had he set his force in order, when the enemy dashed gaily forward, confident of victory. They found themselves confronted by a grim array of targets, behind each of which a savage soldier, armed with a glittering claymore, was quivering like a greyhound in the leash. Twenty times the horsemen charged that wall of warriors and twenty times went reeling back, stabbed, hacked, and broken. Lochiel himself fought in
front of his array; and at every charge his voice was heard, above the clash of battle, sending forth the slogan. Four hours passed in desperate conflict; and still the little band held fast the gorge against the most furious efforts of the English.
At last, when the men were weary, drenched in blood, and weak with wounds and bruises, a herald came from Glencairn. He had retired into a swamp, some two miles distant, where it was impossible that a horse could follow, and was now in perfect safety.
and Lochiel was forced to lie in watch for an opportunity of avenging their presumption. With thirty-five picked men he posted himself upon the woody heights above Achdalew, having the lake and the garrison beneath his eye. His men were grievously in want of forage; and he was compelled to send out the remainder of his party to drive in cattle from some distance round.
The men were scarcely gone, when a boat belonging to the garrison put forth upon the lake, and stood over the water to the shore beneath him. A hundred Lochiel instantly drew off his men. and fifty soldiers were on board. Their But he retreated, not towards the village, purpose was to strip the village and to but up the sides of the ravine, where noth-cut down wood. Lochiel resolved that ing but a cat-o'-mountain or a Highlander they should not touch a girdle-cake or could cling. Lilburn, to his amazement, break a twig. His men were ready to folfound the enemy suddenly above his head, low him through any peril. But the risk and the passage through the gorge left of an attack was fearful; the enemy were open. He pushed forward at full speed; more than four to one against them; and but Glencairn was now safe beyond his they besought him not to expose his life reach; and he was compelled at last, to to such a hazard. Lochiel replied that if his extreme vexation, to drag his horses he fell, his brother Allan, who was with from the quag, and to march back through them, would take his place as chief. But the pass. There, as his tormented troop- the lives of both must not be jeopardized; ers made their way, every boulder, every and Allan positively refused to be left out heather-tuft, along the walls of the ravine, of the adventure. It was found necesseemed to have turned itself into an enemy sary, for his own security, to lash him to a shooting an arrow, or hurling down a tree, where he was left under the guard of stone; and with every stone and arrow a young boy. And then the little band came the notes of a terrific chant: :prepared for the attack.
Wolves and ravens, come to me, and I will give you flesh!
It was the war-song of Lochiel.
This exploit raised his glory to a great height. For every man he lost, the enemy lost six. Glencairn welcomed him as a deliverer; and not long afterwards the king himself sent him a letter, which acknowledged in the warmest terms the signal service which his valor had rendered to the royal cause. But as yet his fame was only in its dawn.
Monk marched into Scotland. It was that general's policy to fight with gold as often as with steel. He tried to bribe Lochiel; but on his blunt refusal, he resolved to plant a fortress in the heart of his domains. Lochiel received intelligence that five ships, carrying three thousand soldiers and a colony of workmen, were sailing up Loch Eil towards Ben Nevis.
He instantly marched homewards along the mountain ranges, and looked down on Inverlochy. The ships were riding off the shore, the troops were landed, the garrison was already fortified against all danger, and the fort was rising fast. To attack them would have been mere madness,
By this time the English soldiers had landed, and were busy in the village, stripping the hovels of eatables and put ting the ducks and the hens into their sacks. While they were thus employed, a scout dashed in among them. They had scarcely time to draw up in rough order on the shore, when Lochiel at the head of his party came rushing out of the wood upon their ranks.
A desperate fight ensued. The English had a vast superiority of numbers. But the first fire of their muskets did no injury; and before they could reload, the enemy were among them. The clansmen, after their manner, caught the sword-cuts and the bayonets on their targets, and stabbed upwards from beneath them; and the English, thus fighting at great disadvantage, were slowly driven down the strand into the water.
Lochiel himself had driven three or four assailants into the wood, where after a sharp contest he had left them lying in a heap. He was returning at full speed towards the shore, eager to rejoin his men, when a gigantic officer, who had concealed himself in a thicket, sprang out upon him with a cry of vengeance. Their blades
were instantly opposed. And then came | branches, and in another instant would a combat which, under a slight disguise, have shot him dead. A true deus ex mawas destined to become famous over all chind saved him. While he had been the world. It was the fight between Fitz- engaged with his opponent, his brother James and Roderick Dhu. Allan, who had been left lashed, in fancied safety, to the tree, had bribed the boy who attended him to cut his cords. At this instant he came running up, and espying the musket-barrel peeping from the bush, instantly fired his own piece in that direction. The soldier tumbled dead into the thicket, and the brothers hurried down the shore together.
The parts of the Gael and the Saxon are, however, interchanged. Lochiel is the Fitz-James; the officer is Roderick Dhu. With this fact borne in mind, the words of the great wizard set the fight before our eyes:
Three times in closing strife they stood,
Fierce Roderick felt the fatal drain,
"Now yield thee, or by Him that made
The combatants, who were now of almost equal numbers, were fighting in the water. Lochiel, in a loud voice, offered quarter to all who would throw down their arms. The offer was accepted; and both parties began to wade ashore. Among the first to surrender was an Irishman, who must have been a fellow of delightful humor. As soon as this worthy felt himself on land, he cast down his weapon, seized Lochiel's hand in a friendly grasp, bade him adieu, and was off like the wind. my Before the victors had done staring at one another he was half-way back to Inverlochy.
"Thy threats, thy mercy, I defy!
The Gael above, Fitz-James below.
Lochiel and his antagonist, however, fell not on soft heather. Locked in the deadly conflict, they tottered, wavered, and rolled together down a steep bank into the dry gulley of a brook. Lochiel, who was undermost, wedged between rocks, and crushed against the pebbles by the weight of his huge foe, was unable to stir hand or foot. But as his enemy stretched forth his hand to reach his dagger, which had fallen out of his belt, Lochiel, with a last effort, darted his head upwards and fixed his teeth in his opponent's throat. He fell back, writhing, and Lochiel stabbed him with his dirk.
Unwounded from the dreadful close,
But his adventures were not ended. As he was issuing from the wood, a soldier, who was skulking in the thicket, levelled his musket at him through the
He reached the fort in safety, with the tidings of the fray. His escape was narrower than he imagined. While he was turning his hearers into stone with horror, his late companions were in evil plight. Lochiel's offer of quarter had been ac cepted; the men were laying down their arms; when one of their party, who had swum out to the boat, found there a loaded wale, and aimed deliberately at Lochiel. firelock. He rested the barrel on the gun
Lochiel's foster-brother, who stood beside him, saw the action. He threw himself before his chief, and the next instant was shot through the heart.
His blood was instantly and bitterly avenged. Lochiel himself, with his sword between his teeth, dashed through the water to the boat, and drove his blade into the assassin's heart. There was no more thought of mercy. The English soldiers snatched up their arms and fought with desperation for their lives. But the mountaineers, breathing forth vengeance, cut them down to the last man.
That night Lochiel himself bore in his arms the body of his preserver, over three miles of crags and moorlands, to the dead man's home among the hills; and there the coronach which was wailed above his bier, ere he was laid among the graves of his own people, doubtless had in it as much of pride as of sorrow, as for one who had died for his chief.