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would have retained his Highlanders at their post, and prevented that general desertion with which his victory threaten
But dissensions had begun to creep in among his officers, and the demoralizing effects of retreat upon an army so loosely organized were apparent in all their movements. Instead of following up their success, and pressing upon the enemy before he could recover from his panic, the time was lost in idle recriminations, and the strength of the army vainly wasted in the siege of the castle of Stirling, which, firm on its rocky base, set all their efforts at defiance.
There was another cause, too, for this delay ; and in order to trace it to its source, we must go back to Italy, and to the year 1719. In that year had been completed the negotiations for the marriage of the Chevalier of St. George with the Princess Mary Casimir Clementine Sobieski, granddaughter of the heroic king of Poland, and believed to be one of the richest heiresses of Europe. Her father, having failed of an election to the throne, was living in Austria under the protection of Charles the Sixth, and it seemed as though there was something in the destiny of the two betrothed which gave a peculiar propriety to their union. But the moment that the tidings of an event so important to the tranquillity of his own family reached the ears of George of England, he addressed a strong remonstrance to the imperial court, complaining of this infraction of the friendship that subsisted between the two nations, and calling upon the emperor to interpose his authority in order to prevent its accomplishment. Charles readily complied with his demand, and forbade the marriage ; and shortly after, the young princess, who had escaped with her mother and was on her way to Italy, was arrested at Innspruck, and shut up in a convent. The evil star of the Stuarts seemed to extend its fatal influence to all those who ventured to share in their fortunes.
Among the exiles of the insurrection of 1715 was John Walkenshaw, Baron of Baronsfield, one of the prisoners of Sheriffsmoor, but who had succeeded in making his escape in time to avoid the fate by which so many of his companions had atoned for their fidelity to the exiled monarch. From that time he had continued to live on the continent, still attached to the cause for which he had hazarded life and fortune, and ever ready to give new proofs of his devotion.
For him, as for all those of his party, the question of James's marriage was one of the deepest interest, and the news of George's interference and Clementine's arrest excited the highest indignation. At first, he endeavoured to intercede with the emperor in her favor; but failing in this, resolved to effect her liberation by stratagem. Another exile, by the name of Wogan, agreed to share the hazards of the attempt; and to complete the party, they took with them a Captain Toole and Major Wisset and his wife. An Austrian passport was obtained for the Count de Cernes and his family, pilgrims to the holy house of Loreto, and thus provided they set out upon their perilous enterprise. Lady Walkenshaw was to pass for the countess, and Wogan for her brother-inlaw ; while a quickwitted maid, whose love for a romantic adventure was heightened by the promise of a liberal reward, consented to play the part of the countess's sister, until she could change places with the princess in her convent-prison. So well arranged was the whole plot, that the party reached Innspruck and succeeded in opening a communication with the prisoner without exciting the slightest suspicion. Their offers of assistance were gladly accepted ; the maid changed dresses with the princess, and, taking her place in the convent, the rest of the party pushed on for the Venetian frontier. Thence they proceeded
to Bologna, where the marriage was performed by proxy. The only reward that Walkenshaw would accept at the hands of the princess was the promise, that, if he ever became a father, she would stand godmother to his child. The promise was faithfully performed, and the daughter that was born to him some time afterwards received at the font the name of Clementine.
When Charles Edward, on laying siege to Stirling, took up his quarters at the castle of Bannockburn, the Jacobite leaders of the neighbourhood hastened to present to him their families. Among the young damsels who graced this little court was one of remarkable beauty, whose aspect ners, accustomed as he was to this sort of homage, struck him with peculiar force. But how much deeper was the impression, when he heard the name of Clementine, and learned that she was the daughter of that noble-hearted chief to whom his mother had been indebted for her freedom. The effect upon the mind of the young Clementine was equally strong ; this was the prince of whom, from her
earliest childhood, she had heard so often; his youth, the charms of his manners, the graces of his person, the romantic enterprise in which he was engaged, all conspired to awaken a feeling in her young heart, which she at first may have mistaken for loyalty, though she soon discovered that it was love. The camp was so near, and a long siege leaves so many hours unemployed, that Charles Edward, without any apparent neglect of his duty, could easily find time for long and earnest interviews. He had the story of his own romantic adventures to tell, and could draw for her bright pictures of the sunny South ; she, the youthful remembrances with which his mother's name was so closely interwoven, and that loveliest of all pictures, woman's heart, unconsciously yielding, with all the fervor and self-devotion of her sex, to the pure and gentle inspirations of a first and ardent love. Sincere and honorable in his feelings, Charles Edward promised himself that he would soon be able to place her by his side
upon the throne of Scotland ; for she was of an ancient family, allied to the first houses of the kingdom, whose attachment would become all the stronger for so marked a distinction. But she had read the future with woman's truer instinct, and thought rather of the day when her voice and her love would be the sole charm and solace of his exile. And she was true to her word, and, when every hope had failed him, and the nearest and dearest had abandoned him to his fate, she sought him out in his solitude, and in the darkest hour of his adversity united her destiny with his.
The drama was fast drawing to a close. The Duke of Cumberland, who, after the fall of Carlisle, had returned to London, no sooner received the news of the battle of Falkirk, than he resolved no longer to intrust the command of the army to subordinate bands, but, putting himself at its head, to complete the reconquest of Scotland by the most vigorous measures. He accordingly hastened to Edinburgh, drew around him all those who had been distinguished for their adhesion to his family, issued the severest instructions for the treatment of the rebels, and, proclaiming his intention of putting a speedy termination to the war, marched out with ten thousand men, in two columns, to meet the enemy. Charles Edward would gladly have risked the chances of another battle; but his army was too much reduced by the customary desertion of the Highlanders to justify so hazard
ous a venture ; and raising the siege of the castle, which was upon the eve of surrendering, he crossed the Forth and retreated towards the Highlands. Here, in order to facilitate his march and distract the enemy's attention, he divided his army into two columns, one of which, under his own guidance, pursued the direct route through the mountains, while the other, led by Lord George Murray, took the road by the seacoast. Inverness was fixed upon for the general rendezvous.
Cumberland continued his pursuit as far as Perth. It was the depth of winter, and while the severity of the weather and the natural obstacles of a wild and mountainous country arrested bis troops at every step, and compelled him to proceed with the utmost precaution, his light-footed enemy was moving rapidly before him, and doubling every day, without any perceptible effort, the distance that lay between them. These considerations, and the news which he had received of the landing of a reinforcement of six thousand men under his brother-in-law, Prince Frederic of Hesse, induced him to retrace his steps to Edinburgh, where he would be better able, after this short experience of the nature of the opposition he was to encounter, to devise his measures for the effectual subjugation of the kingdom.
Charles Edward easily gained possession of Inverness, though defended by two thousand men, and spread his forces over an extensive tract of country. Nothing else could be done till the return of spring, and then, if France should, in the interval, fulfil her oft-repeated promises of support, there was every reason to hope that he might open the campaign with the defeat of Cumberland, and renew, under better auspices, his attempt upon England. These well founded hopes were defeated by the shameful negligence and dilatoriness of the court of Versailles. His remonstrances were disregarded, his agents listened to with incredulity. It was in vain that he detailed all his wants, and reported all his successes. The king and his ministers, wavering and undecided in their councils, subjected to the caprice and passions of a vain and voluptuous mistress, frittered away in deliberation the time which should have been devoted to action, and persisted, with a half timid, half treacherous policy, in deferring to the morrow what could only be accomplished to-day.
Meanwhile winter wore away and spring came on, and the
Duke of Cumberland hastened to take the field. Charles Edward made every effort to collect his army ; but six thousand men were all that he could bring together, and part of these were soon dispersed again by the scarcity of provisions. Cumberland advanced towards Inverness, and encamped within a few miles of his antagonist. Charles hoped to make up for his inferiority by a night attack, in which his men would have the advantage of their familiarity with the ground. Two thousand men were collected for the enterprise, and midnight, when the English camp would be buried in that deep slumber which follows an evening of debauch,
for the onset. But the night was so dark that even the Highlanders were delayed in their march, and at two in the morning they were still three miles from the enemy.
Charles Edward was at hand with a strong reinforcement, which he had collected in order to support the main body. Several of the chiefs still insisted upon proceeding; but Murray, whose prudence as a tactician led him more than once to mistake the character of the troops he commanded, and the real nature of his position, ordered a retreat. Tired, disappointed, and hungry, the men retraced
At break of day, Cumberland, little dreaming of the danger he had escaped, was under arms and advanced to offer battle. And now,
And now, for the first time, the prince allowed his impatience to overcome him. Six thousand men were all that he could muster, and his enemy counted ten thousand ; but great as the disparity was, he resolved to risk an engagement. His council opposed his resolution with arguments and entreaties ; they painted the state of the two armies, the one exhausted by privations and hunger, the other fresh and vigorous from a well stored camp. They urged the necessity of giving time for the remainder of the clans to come in; that every day would bring him a new accession of strength, and diminish that of his antagonist ; that, by confining himself to a war of skirmishes and surprises, he could draw his enemy into the mountains, entangle him in their passes, harass him by cutting off his supplies, weaken him by surprising his detachments, and, having once got the advantage of number, of position, and of feeling upon his side, attack him at his own choice, and with the certainty of success. The French minister threw himself at Charles's feet, and beg