Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

And now the fight was over — a fight|no visitor ; and Lochiel for the third time of which the incidents of self-devotion, of sunk to slumber. But now the ghost, apsingle combat, of hair's-breadth escapes, pearing with an angry aspect, struck him of victory achieved against appalling odds, more sharply than before, and cried in a resemble some wild fable of romantic compelling voice, “ Arise, arise, Lochiel!" story rather than events of history. The With the accents ringing in his ears, Lowhole of the English force, except a sin-chiel sprang up and looked forth at the gle fugitive, lay dead upon the shore or doorway of the cabin. To his unspeaka. in the wood. Lochiel, though nearly all ble surprise, the moor was covered with his band were bruised and wounded, had the red coats of English soldiers. His only lost five men.

pursuers had stolen between his outposts, Some of his wild warriors had that day and were creeping up to seize him in his set eyes for the first time on Saxon sol- sleep. diers. There was a singular superstition Whoever the red-bearded ghost might in the Highlands, often muttered by the be, he certainly came through the gate of ancient wives, that an Englishman in one horn. His warning was delivered just in respect was like a monkey; and it is re- time. Lochiel instantly dashed out of the corded that, after the battle, the conquer- hut, and favored by the dusky, light of ors were to be seen inspecting the dead morning, got clear away among the track, bodies with lively curiosity, and breaking less hills. His men soon gathered round forth into cries of disappointment because him; but two or three were missing; and they had no tails !

Lochiel, moreover, had lost all his bagNext morning Colonel Bryan, the gov- gage, in which were some unset diamonds, ernor of the garrison, marched out two and a dozen silver spoons engraven with thousand soldiers, thirsting for revenge. the ten commandments. In vain. He could see the Camerons on He joined his allies without misadventhe lofty crags, their colors Aying, and ture. But the campaign was ncarly over; their bagpipes yelling in triumph; but he and he was soon at liberty to revisit bis could no more reach them than if they had old foes. He marched back in deep sehad wings. On the other hand, wherever crecy to Inverlochy. It chanced that on parties of his men were to be seen, the the day of his arrival about a hundred of mountaineers came swooping from the the officers were celebrating his absence hills, attacked them, slew them, and rose by holding a hunting-party in his forests, again, uninjured, like a flight of eagles, and killing his red deer. They were desinto their wild heights and inaccessible tined to enjoy, that day, the excitement ravines. For some days this war went on. both of the hunter and of the game. In But Lochiel, who could no longer absent the midst of their amusement Lochiel himself from the main army, at last drew came suddenly upon them, hunted them off his men.

The colonel instantly told out of the forest, and left only ten of them off a strong troop to pursue him.' The alive. man who took Lochiel, alive or dead, was Nor did he confine himself to Inver. to receive promotion and a bag of gold. lochy. Some days later three colonels,

Lochiel marched by day over the moun. with their guards and servants, who had tain ranges, and slept by night upon the been sent out to survey the country, were heather, or in the litile shealings, made of drinking their wine at evening in their inn turf and branches, which the mountain at Portuchrekine. The door was well shepherds build on the bare moors. In guarded ; no danger was thought possible; one of these he lay one night among the when suddenly the party were electrified hills of Braemar. No enemy was known to perceive a hole appear among the rafters to be at hand; and the watch was kept of the roof. Through the hole Lochiel, with negligence. In the dead of night an with a string of men behind him, came apparition stood beside him. It was the tumbling into the room. In a moment he figure of a small, red-bearded man, with had made every man of them a prisoner. troubled features and wild eyes, who They were conducted, under the darkness struck the sleeper on the breast, an bade the night, to the sho of Loch Orhim instantly arise. Lochiel awoke, and tuigg, where a boat was waiting, and were gazed about him ; but he could see nothing, lodged in a crazy cabin on an island in the and soon fell asleep once more. Imme- middle of the lake. Except for their diately the figure reappeared, and awoke lodgings, however, they had little to com. him with the same alarming cry. Lochiel, plain of. Their servants were permitted in some amazement, roused his henchman, to attend them; and every day, as long as who lay beside him. The man had seen they were prisoners, their table was loaded

with venison and wild-fowl. Lochiel, chiefs, leads, by a deft transition, to the though an appalling enemy, was, after the loss of three cows which had befallen himancient Highland manner, a host of the self, and for lack of which, he sighs, he most lofty courtesy; and he chose to con- fears that he shall be reduced to feed on sider his captives as his guests.

grass. Lochiel presented the performer, His enemies were, by this time, eager who in point of poverty, at least, seems to to buy peace. Every chief in Scotland, have been the equal of most poets, from himself excepted, had now submitted to Homer downwards, with three fresh cows the Protector, and had been compelled to from his own stock. The company filled take an oath of fealty to the State. Lochiel his sporran with silver pieces. And hills alone received an intimation, that on pass- and valleys echoed with thanksgivings, as ing bis bare word to fight no longer for the joyful bard departed. Prince Charles, he should receive full Up to this point we have traced Lo. compensation for all injuries, and be left, chiel's career with some minuteness. The for the future, in undisturbed possession course of events between his marriage and of his lands. These conditions -as glo- the battle of Killiecrankie may.pass more rious to his fame as any feat of arms rapidly before us. Lochiel accepted. At the head of his In times of peace, among the ancient clan, he marched to the garrison at Inver. Highlands, vast hunting-parties took the lochy. The treaty was ratified; and Lo- place of war. The wolves, that once had chiel found himself at peace.

prowled in mighty packs among the mounHis name was now renowned all over tains, were by no means yet extinct. Scotland. And his appearance was wor- Twenty years later, Lochiel himself drove thy of his name. He had now attained to his spear into the ribs of the last wolf that his full growth. His figure was six feet howled in Scotland; but at this time numhigh, slender, yet of amazing strength. bers of the fierce beasts were to be found, His face was eminently handsome. His and provided a dangerous and exciting swarthy skin, and his dark and piercing sport. Lochiel's hunting - parties soon eyes, caused him to be known throughout grew famous. They were varied by occathe country by the title of Black Ewen. sional campaigns against the neighboring In nobility of bearing he was said, in after clans. He marched against Macintosh. years, to present a striking likeness to He fought with the Macleans against the Louis the Fourteenth. The resemblance, Campbells. In 1660, when Monk declared however, must have been rather in impres- his pleasure that the king should enjoy sion than in reality; for the majestic his own again, Lochiel marched with Frenchman, in spite of a towering peri- Monk to London, rode at his side on the wig, and shoes with heels like stilts, could day of the triumphal entry, was presented, hardly have come up to Lochiel's shoul- kissed the king's hand, and might, as it der.

appears, have had the bliss of holding the And now, for a time, the claymore was king's stirrup, had he not lacked grievput back into the scabbard. The war- ously the courtier's art of thrusting himpipes were to warble the gay strains of self forward. It was not, however, from peace. The wild pibroch was to change the merry monarch that Lochiel was desto wedding reels. Lochiel was to be tined to receive the most distinguished married.

marks of favor, but from James, then His bride was a beautiful Macdonald Duke of York. a daughter of the lofty house whose chief- In 1682 some villagers of Lochiel were tains had, for many ages, been known by seized and brought for trial to Edinburgh, the proud title of the Lords of the Isles. on the charge of having killed two solThe wedding was long remembered for its diers, who had attempted to drive off catsplendor, for the brilliance of the company tle from the village, and who had caused who gathered to the feast, and who danced the death of an old woman, to whom the from night to morning to the joyous skirl-herd belonged. Thither Lochiel repaired ing of the pipes. Among the merry-mak- to answer for his men. The duke hap

was one ancient minstrel, who had pened to be visiting the city; and Lochiel, made a pilgrimage of many miles, that he who waited on him, was most graciously Inight add to the festivities the humble received. The duke talked long with him tribute of his song. A version of the about his exploits in the royal cause, and Gaelic ditty which he sang before the finally demanded Lochiel's sword. Lo. guests is still extant. It is an amusing chiel chanced to be wearing, at the time, specimen of the simplicity of art. The an ornamental rapier, such as he never singer, having extolled the virtues of the I used in actual fighting. He handed his

ers

[ocr errors]

a

weapon to James, who attempted to draw with the gleam of swords. The sheriff, it; but the blade, which had grown rusty, frightened out of his wits, threw himself would not stir. “ Lochiel's weapon," said on the protection of Lochiel ; and Lochiel, the duke, with a smile, “has not often with inuch loyal parade, escorted him out stuck in its scabbard when the royal cause of the country, into which he never ven. required it.”. Then, as Lochiel, with a tured to set his foot again. To add the slight effort, drew the blade himself, “ See, last touch to the comedy, the sheriff remy lords,” he continued, turning to the garded Lochiel as the preserver of his life, crowd of courtiers who stood round, "the and commended his name to the Council, sword of Lochiel obeys no hand except who sent him a letter of thanks! his own !” And with this extremely But although Lochiel permitted no rival graceful speech he took the rapier, made not even the king's representative — to Lochiel kneel down, struck him on the usurp his authority, he was ready at all shoulder with the blade, and bade him times to fight for the king. When Dunrise up Sir Ewen.

dee summoned the clans for his last venThe courtiers who were present at this ture, it was from Lochiel's castle that the ceremony smiled so affably that Lochiel fiery crosses took their flight. His part believed himself to be among a host of in the campaign that followed is one of friends. No sooner, however, had the the well-known events of history: No duke departed than some of these, burst- reader of Scott or of Macaulay will have ing with envy, pushed on the case against forgotten how his voice induced the Counhis villagers with the most bitter vigor. cil to give battle; how, before the fight, The culprits would certainly have been he drew from every Cameron an oath to doomed to dangle in a row, had not Lo- conquer or to perish; and how his onset chiel, who had no mind to see his clans- whirled the red-coats, in a torrent, down men hanged to spite himself, set his own the gorge of Killiecrankie. wits against his enemies. He hired a band He had never led his men except to of pot-companions to pick acquaintance victory—and such a victory was tlie fitwith the most dangerous of the witnesses ting crown of his career. And at this against him. These genial spirits earned point we must leave him. After the battle their pay. On the morning of the trial he retired into his kingdom, where he the witnesses were discovered, after a lived, taking no further active part in long search, snoring under a table covered public matters, till 1719, when he died of with bottles. No effort could erect them fever. But, with the exception of a few on their legs. The case was dismissed vague glimpses, we have no record of his for want of evidence, and Lochiel returned later years. In truth, in this point, as in in triumph to Lochaber.

others, he resembles the ancient hero to Strategy was, indeed, as native to his whom he has been likened. We know character as a feat of arms. In 1685 the little more of the old age of Lochiel than sheriff of Inverness was charged by the of the old age of Ulysses. Council to hold assizes in the Highlands. Nevertheless, his character, his picturIn the course of his circuit he came into esque and striking figure, are as distinct Lochaber, attended by a guard of six or to us as those of any hero of history or seven hundred men. Lochiel, incensed romance. The Ulysses of the Highlands ! that any but himself should dare to exer- the title is no freak of fancy. There is cise authority in his domains, marched to no act, no exploit, of the Ithacan, which the court with five hundred of his follow- will not perfectly well suit the character

These he professed were intended of Lochiel. Nothing is easier than to picas a band of honor to the judge; but he ture hini among the scenes of Homer; to had dropped a broad hint in the ears of see him, in the mind's eye, rising in the two or three of his most turbulent spirits : hushed assembly of the Grecian kings, “ This judge will ruin us all. Is there whirling in his chariot along the banks of none of my lads so clever as to get up a the Scamander, emerging like a phantom tumult, and send him packing? I have from the wooden horse, plunging the seen them raise mischief at less need." burning brand into the eye of the CyHis listeners, eager to seize the least sign clops, or scheming how to sail in safety of his pleasure, caught up the words in a past the perilous islands where the Sirens moinent.

were singing on the shingle among the The sheriff was sitting; the court was bones of men. Strength, courage, fiery crowded to the doors; when on a sudden, vigor, a sagacity which was never to be no one could say where, a blow was struck, found at fault - such was the character of a scuffle arose, and in two minutes the the ancient wanderer. And such was the place was ringing with uproar and dazzling character of Lochiel.

ers.

LATE MINISTER TO MOROCCO.

From Murray's Magazine. H.M. being a direct descendant from the HOW PIRACY WAS STOPPED IN MOROCCO. Prophet, and though they allow a gov: BY RIGHT HON. SIR J. H. DRUMMOND HAY, ernor of Reef extraction to be appointed

by him to reside amongst them, they do BEFORE the year 1856, vessels becalmed not admit of his interference in the adminon the Reef coast between the Algerian istration of government or in any kind frontier and the Spanish fortress Peñon, of legislation, unless it happens that he is which is situated about sixty miles to the voluntarily appealed to in cases of diseastward of the Moorish port of Tetuan, pute. were frequently captured by Reefian

The Reefians, however, pay annually a karebs, large galleys manned by thirty or small tribute, which is generally composed forty men, armed with long guns, pistols, of mules and honey, the latter article and daggers.

being much cultivated on the extensive When a vessel becalmed, drawn by the tracts of heather in the Reef mountains. current, approached the Reef coast, espe- This tribute is collected by the governor cially in the vicinity of the village of Beni- and transmitted to the sultan. boogaffer near Cape Tres Forcas, about

After a lengthened correspondence with fifteen miles to the westward of the Span- the Moorish court, it was brought to a ish fortress of Melilla, the natives launched close on the sultan declaring he had no their karebs, hidden in nooks on the rocky power of control over the mountainous coast, or buried under sand, and set out districts in the Reef, and therefore dein pursuit, firing volleys as they neared clined to be held responsible for the the vessel. The crew, if they had not depredations committed on vessels apescaped in the ship's boats when the proaching that coast. The British gove piratical craft hove in sight, were made ernment then despatched a squadron to prisoners, but were not in general ill- Gibraltar under Admiral Sir Charles Natreated unless they attempted to offer re- pier, with orders to embark a regiment at sistance,

that garrison, and to proceed to the Reef On landing, they were compelled to coast and chastise the lawless inhabitlabor in the fields, receiving a daily allow- ants: ance of very coarse food. The captured This step was decided on without convessel was rifled of cargo and rigging, and sulting, me, for I should never have then burnt so as to leave no vestige. advised that ships of the line should be

In the year 1855 a British vessel was sent to bombard the wretched hamlets on captured by the karebs of Beniboogaffer. the Reef coast, or to attempt to land a

In pursuance of instructions from small body of troops to attack villages H.M.'s government, a strong representa- perched on rocky fastnesses, inhabited by tion was made by me to the sultan of a well-armed and daring race, for such an Morocco, then Mulai Abderahman, grand- expedition would have led to great loss of father of the present sovereign, Mulai life, and certainly to no beneficial results. Hassan, demanding that the pirates should Sir Charles Napier, on his arrival at be chastised, that compensation should be Gibraltar with the squadron, communigiven to the owner of the vessel, and that cated to me his instructions, and I did not energetic steps should be taken by his hesitate in expressing my opinion that it Sheriffian Majesty to put a stop to these would do more harm than good if he piratical acts of his lawless subjects of the bombarded the villages, or disembarked Reef.

troops on the coast of Reef; and that I The sultan, on the receipt of this de- thought it would be advisable, in the first mand, despatched officers from his court place, that the admiral should pay a visit to the Reef country, with a Sheriffian edict in some small vessel, when he would be to the chieftains directing that the sums better enabled to form an opinion as to demanded for the destruction of British the measures to be adopted. Sir Charles property should be paid, and threatened, did not reply to my communication, and, if further piracies were committed, to send having embarked a regiment at Gibraltar, a force into the Reef to chastise his rebel. proceeded with the squadron to the Reef lious subjects.

coast. No attempt, however, was made No attention was paid to this edict, for to land troops there, neither was a gun though the Reefians acknowledge the fired. sultan of Morocco as Kaliph * Allah,

On his arrival at the Spanish fort of The population of Morocco have never accepted,

Melilla, which is about fifty miles to the like other Mahomedans, the sultan of Turkey, who is westward of the Algerian frontier, Sir not a descendant of the Prophet, as “Kaliph Allah." Charles called on the Spanish governor

а

and requested him to invite the chiefs of some Reefians, who had proceeded in a the neighboring villages to come to Me British vessel to the East on a pilgrimage lilla to meet him.

to Mecca, and who had been provided On their arrival, the admiral demanded by me with letters of recommendation to compensation for the losses sustained by British consular officers, I wrote to Alha. the owner of the British vessels which dary a friendly letter, expressing the indig. had been captured. The Reefians cun- nation I felt at the outrages which had been ningly evaded discussion by replying that committed by his piratical brethren on they could not accede to demands which British vessels; that I had been informed did not emanate from the sultan, whose the authorities at Gibraltar had endeav. orders they declared they would be pre- ored, when they heard British sailors were pared to obey.

in the hands of the pirates, to pay a ranSir Charles accepted these vague assur- som for their freedom, but had failed, as ances, and with this unsatisfactory result exorbitant demands had been put forward; returned with the squadron to Gibraltar, and that since I had learnt my countrymen and addressed to me a communication, were in his hands, I felt satisfied they making known the language held to him would be well treated, and that he would by the Reefians, and requested that I facilitate at once their release and return should despatch an express courier to the to Gibraltar; that I entertained too high Moorish court to call upon the sultan to an opinion of him to suppose he would give the requisite orders to the Reefians, not consent to their release except on the who, he declared, were prepared to obey, payment of a ransom, and therefore I though he admitted he was ignorant of would make no offer to purchase the libthe names of the chieftains with whom he erty of my countrymen, but renewed those had the parley.

assurances of friendship and good-will, of In my reply to the admiral I expressed which I said I had already given proof in my belief that the Reefians had cunningly the past treatment of his brethren. given these vague assurances to induce Alhadary replied that the sailors were him to depart with his ships from their under his care and had been well treated; coast, and that I apprehended the sultan that they would be embarked in the first would express his surprise that we should vessel which might be sent to receive have been led to suppose that the piratical them. and rebellious inhabitants of the Reef coast This engagement was faithfully exe. would pay compensation or give other cuted, and at my suggestion the authori. satisfaction, in pursuance of any orders ties at Gibraltar sent a suitable present which H.S.M. might issue.

to the worthy marabet. I wrote also to In this sense, as I had expected, the thank Alhadary, and to beg that he would sultan replied to my note, holding out, use his influence to put a stop to the dishowever, a hope, which had been ex- graceful outrages committed in past years pressed in past years, that he would seek by his brethren on the lives and property at a more favorable moment to make the of British subjects, and that I should Reef population, who had been from time probably take an opportunity of seeking immemorial in a semi-independent state, to have a parley with the chiefs, in the more subservient to his control.

hope of coming to an understanding with Some months after the squadron had them, to bring about a cessation of these returned to England, a British vessel, be- outrages ; adding, that if my friendly incalmed off the village of Beniboogaffer, tervention did not put a stop to the piracy was taken by a Reefian piratical craft, and of his brethren, the British government the English crew were made captives. would be compelled, in concert with the

Tidings having reached Gibraltar of the sultan, to resort to hostile measures on a capture of the British ship, a gunboat was large scale, and send forces by sea and sent to Melilla to endeavor to obtain, land to chastise these rebellious subjects through the intervention of the Spanish of his Sheriffian Majesty. authorities, and an offer of a ransom, the In the spring of 1856 H.M. frigate Mi. release of the British sailors, but this step randa, Captain Hall, arrived at Tangier was not attended with success. Having with directions to convey me to the coast heard that the Englishmen who had been of Reef. I embarked on the 21st of April, captured had been presented by the pirates taking with me a Reefian friend, Hadj to a Reef marabet (or holy man) named Abdallah Lamarty, who was sheikh of á Alhadary, who resided on the coast, and village near Tangier called Swaney, whose as I had in past years been in friendly inhabitants are Reefians, or of Reef ex. communication with this person regarding traction.

« ElőzőTovább »