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to town, being kept upon the road by an overturn. His Grace begs to have the honour of now waiting upon her ladyship at any hour that may be most convenient.’ The two sides of the card being again joined, it is forwarded to Lady Yarmouth, and to the request which it contains, her ladyship politely but coldly replies in French, “that she will always be glad to see the D. of H. at her house. But she begs to assure him that she cannot be of any service to him with regard to the subject which procures her that honour.’ This effort made (it may be presumed from the secrecy observed) after Lord Cromarty's reprieve had been granted, and when the Court had refused to listen to any further solicitations, was probably the last. On Monday, August 11, the warrant for Lord Kilmarnock's execution was brought to the Tower, and he prepared to die. The Hon. and Rev. Alex. Home, writing to the Duke on the morning of the Saturday previous to the execution, says, “I give you the joy to know that the beauty of his behaviour in losing all hope of life, appeared to me something more than human;' and on the Sunday, he adds, “I was with our unfortunate friend several hours yesterday. His behaviour continues calm and resolute, which I am convinced he will support to the last. Be pleased to send the sketch of his letter to Lord Boyd; he called anxiously for it yesterday.” The letter to Lord Boyd, dated the day before the execution, commences thus:– “Dear Boyd, You may easily believe that it gave me a great deal of uneasiness that you did not get leave to come up here, and that I could not have the pleasure of taking a long and last farewell of you. Besides the pleasure of seeing you, and giving you the blessing of a dying father, I wanted to have talked to you about your affairs more than I have strength or spirits to write.' He then proceeds to counsel him at some length, recommending him to ‘continue in your loyalty to his present Majesty, and the succession to the Crown by law established;’ and he concludes, ‘I must again recommend to you your unhappy mother; comfort her, and take all the care you can of your brothers. And may God of his infinite mercy preserve, guide, and conduct you through all the vicissitudes of this life, and after it bring you to the habitations of the just, and make you happy in the enjoyment of Himself to eternity, is the sincere prayer of your affectionate father, WILLIAM Boyd.’ A brief pamphlet,” published soon after the execution, by the Rev. James Foster, who attended Lord Kilmarnock in the Tower, supplies a touching picture of the closing scene:— “I now come to the conclusion of this dismal scene— his behaviour on the day of his execution. I attended him in the morning about eight o'clock, and found him in a most calm and happy temper, without any disturbance or confusion in his mind, and with apparent marks of ease and serenity in his aspect. . . . He continued all the morning of his execution in the same uniform * An Account of the Behaviour of the late Earl of Kilmarnock,
after his Sentence, and on the Day of his Erecution. By James Foster. London: Printed for J. Noon. 1746.
temper, unruffled, and without any sudden vicissitudes and starts of passion. This remarkably appeared, when soon after I had, at his own desire, made a short prayer with him, General Williamson came to inform him that the sheriffs waited for the prisoner ; for, at receiving this awful summons to go to death, he was not in the least startled, but said calmly and gracefully, “General, I am ready; I'll follow you.” At the foot of the first stairs he met and embraced Lord Balmerino, who greatly said to him, “My lord, I'm heartily sorry to have your company in this expedition.” From thence he walked with the usual formalities to the Tower gate, and, after being delivered into the custody of the sheriffs, to the house provided on Tower-hill, with a serenity, mildness, and dignity, that greatly surprised and affected the spectators. . . . After this, Lord Balmerino took his leave, embracing Lord Kilmarnock with the same kind of noble and generous compliment as he had used before, but in words somewhat different: “My dear Lord Kilmarnock, I am only sorry that I cannot pay all this reckoning alone; once more, farewell for ever.” . . As he was stepping on to the scaffold, notwithstanding the great pains he had taken to familiarise the outward apparatus of death to his mind, nature still recurred upon him; so that being struck with such a variety of dreadful objects at once—the multitude, the block, his coffin, the executioner, the instrument of death—he turned about, and said, “Home, this is terrible.” This expression, so suitable to the occasion, was far from being a mark of unmanly fear, being pronounced with a steady countenance, and firmness of voice, indicative of a mind unbroken, and not disconcerted. . . . My lord's hair having been dressed in a bag, it took some time to undo it, and put it up in his cap. The tucking his shirt under the waistcoat, that it might not obstruct the blow, was the occasion of some further small delay. . . . Having then fixed his neck on the block, he gave the signal; his body remained without the least motion, except what was given it by the stroke of death, which he received full, and was thereby happily eased at once of all his pain.'
These Scottish Royalists—whose loyalty, in the words of King James, was so “constant and singular,'—
True as the dial to the sun,
were undoubtedly remarkable men. In their ranks we find great soldiers and great statesmen. A partisan historian has recently challenged this verdict, and has done his best to cast down the idol which a narrow and exclusive patriotism had raised up. I cannot think—for my part—that these men have been overrated. If I am pressed for a particular answer, I point to Claverhouse and Montrose. It is true that they had only a provincial stage; but we see what they made of it ! It is impossible, I think, to read the records of a single year without discovering that Montrose (of Claverhouse I have already spoken) was a born soldier, and that on a larger stage he would
have won a place beside the great captains of history. Let us look for a moment at what he did. It is difficult, indeed, to keep pace with Montrose through his brief and brilliant campaign; his marches are so swift and silent, his victories so rapid and dazzling. He has vowed to bring Scotland back to King Charles, and he begins the enterprise with a single trooper. Beset on every side, he turns, and doubles, and beats back, and then, when least looked for, falls upon his prey with a hawk-like swoop. He routs the puffy burghers of Perth at Tippermuir; a day or two thereafter he enters the good town of Aberdeen; then, having enticed Argyle to the Spey, he plunges, amid the woods of Badenoch, into Cimmerian darkness, as Mr. Carlyle would say. He is gaining time—time to marshal the forces of the Royalists, who are everywhere scattered and disheartened, and to make victory, though marvellous, not a miracle. So he reappears in Athole; reappears in Aberdeen; seats himself with consummate skill and coolness among the woods of Fyvie, where the covenanting armies surge against him in vain. But the Gordons are sulky and will not rise; it is lost time to wait longer in Buchan; so, shaking his unwieldy enemy easily off, he once more, in the dead of winter, startles, with the tread of armed men, the eyries of Badenoch, and the barren wilderness of the Spey. That autumn and winter were certainly not propitious to the Puritans. At no time was a favourable response to Principal Baillie's petition that “the Almighty might be pleased to blink in mercy upon Scotland, more