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of Glenbeisdale, in the canton of Moidart, where, but a few months before, he had landed so full of confidence and hope. Here he received a letter from Lord George Murray, beg. ging him to come and put himself at the head of the relics of his army, a little more than a thousand men, who were assembled at Badenoch, and make one more effort. But he was now convinced that nothing could be done without the succours of France, which, if they had been withheld at a moment when every thing seemed to promise success, would hardly be ventured after so fatal a reverse. ence at Versailles seemed to offer the only chance of bringing the hesitating and reluctant court to a decision, while the utmost that he could hope to accomplish by remaining in Scotland would be to keep up for a few weeks longer a destructive partisan warfare, which, even if successful, could lead to no decisive results. This reasoning, so plausible in itself, was supported by the advice of Clanranald and the other chiefs who had joined him ; and although, upon a cooler examination, there appear many grounds for calling its correctness in doubt, yet it can hardly be considered surprising that it should have been adopted as the wisest course, at a moment of such deep depression. Sorrow has its intoxication as well as joy, and few men have received from nature, or won by education, so firm a texture of mind, as to justify the inconsiderate condemnation which is lavished so freely upon the errors into which we are led by giving way to despondency.
The whole country was now on the alarm ; English cruisers hovering on the coast, and guarding the passes of the islands, and strong bands of soldiers scattered in patrols along the shore and through the valleys, following like bloodhounds upon every track, and subjecting every nook and corner to the most rigorous examination. Charles Edward was not suffered to remain long in tranquillity at his little asylum of Airsaig. His traces had been discovered, and a party was approaching to seize him. His companions Aed in different directions, and he took refuge in a wood.
As he was wandering here alone, at a loss which way to direct his steps, he met the pilot whom he had sent for to the isle of Skye. It was a cheering omen, and seemed to say that all had not abandoned him in this hour of need. The weather was upon the point of changing, and the heavens were lowering with the well known signs of an approaching tempest. It seemed like courting destruction to embark at such a moment upon that stormy sea ; but to remain on shore was captivity or death. The tempest burst upon them in all its fury. The rain fell in torrents upon their unprotected heads. The waves tossed their little bark like foam, seeming at times as if they would engulph it in their abysses, or dash it in fragments upon the rock-bound coast, where the breakers broke and roared with the deafening noise of thunder. Night came on, and they had no compass to steer by. In ten hours, they had run a hundred miles, and at length they landed on the little island of Benbecula. It was almost a desert. A few crabs which they caught among the rocks, and a little bar. ley-meal mixed with water, was their only food; an old cowhouse was their shelter. Next day they found the cow, and made a better meal.
The tempest still continued to rage with unabated violence, and it was not till the 29th that they were enabled to embark once more, and direct their course towards Lewis island, where they hoped to find a French cruiser. But they had hardly put off when another tempest came up, which drove them to the islet of Glass. Here they gave themselves out for shipwrecked merchants, O'Sullivan taking the name of St. Clair, and passing the prince for his son.
A farmer gave them shelter, and lent his boat to MacLeod, the pilot, to go upon the lookout as far as Stornoway, the port of Lewis island, which they looked to as the end of their wanderings. He soon sent back word to the prince to follow him, but the wind again drove him from his course, and he was compelled to land at Loch Seaforth, and continue his journey on foot. The guide missed his way, and it was not till the evening of the second day that he reached Point Ayrnish, a mile from Stornoway. Here he stopped, while one of the party went forward to reconnoitre. MacLeod soon joined him, not with the cheering tidings that the vessel he had hoped to find was ready to receive him, but to tell him that the population, warned of his approach, were upon the point of rising to repel him or make him prisoner, unless he consented to retrace his steps without delay.
Burke was for retreating at once. My good friend,” said Charles Edward, “ if you are afraid, you will spoil our supper. If it is me that you are alarmed for, be under no uneasiness, for nobody will ever take me alive ; and woe to the first man that comes near me ! But there is a time for every thing, and the most important question at this moment is how to get supper."
They remained there all that night and started again at daybreak. And now a new danger presented itself; for a few hours after they had left the shore, four cruisers hove in sight, and they were compelled to take shelter in the little island of Issurt, where they passed four days in a hut without a roof. At length they ventured out again, creeping under the shore of that long chain of islands which are comprised under the general name of Long Island, being supposed to have been originally all united in one. The cruisers continued to hang upon their track, and pursue them from point to point, so that it was only by slipping in between the rocks and islands, where they were hidden from view, that they succeeded in escaping. In this manner they came back again to Benbecula, closely pursued by an English cruiser, which was happily driven off by a sudden squall
, just as they came to shore. Here, while they lived on shell-fish, secreting themselves during the day in a little hut, the entrance of which was so low that they were obliged to crawl into it on hands and knees, one of the party was sent to invite the old chief of Clanranald, who lived on Long Island, to an interview, and another with letters to Lochiel and Murray of Broughton, the prince's secretary. Clanranald came in the night, attended by his children's tutor, MacDonald, or, as he was commonly called, MacEachen, who from that time attached himself to the prince's person. The old chief was deeply moved to find the son of his sovereign in this miserable little hovel, with his clothes falling in shreds from about him, and his whole frame extenuated by hunger and fatigue. It would have been dangerous for both to have carried him to his own dwelling ; but MacEachen was ordered to conduct him to a little country-house at Corodale, a valley in the centre of South Uist. After the huts and caverns in which he had been living, this seemed to Charles like a palace. Here he remained several weeks. Nearly all the inhabitants of the island were partisans of his family, and none would be likely to betray him, even if they had known that he was among them. Game was plenty, and he amused himself with fishing and shooting, and was sometimes not a little surprised to find himself as happy at a good shot as he had ever been after a victory. From time to time Lady MacDonald sent him the newspapers, bringing him back again to the world, which he had lost sight of during his flight.
One evening, as his faithful companion, Burke, was preparing for supper part of a deer, the fruit of that day's hunt, a young beggar, allured by the savory odor, came and seated himself at Charles Edward's side to claim his share in the feast. Burke, more attentive than his master to the distinctions of etiquette, was upon the point of driving him away. “Remember, my friend,” said the prince, " that the Scripture bids us feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Let this man eat, and after he has done, you will give him a coat to cover himself with.”
Never was charity worse bestowed, for the wretch had no sooner swallowed his meal, and drawn his new garment around him, than he hastened to give information to the agents of government against the suspicious stranger, who was thus secreted in the heart of the island. Charles Edward was compelled to abandon his quiet asylum, and trust himself once more to the chances of the winds and the waves. For a while he wandered about from island to island, shifting his abode as the danger drew nigh, and returning again when it was passed. At last he came back once more to Benbecula. He had been obliged to separate from O'Sullivan, Burke, and MacLeod ; O'Niel and MacEachen were the only ones that he had kept with him, and so closely was the net now drawn around him, that it seemed as if nothing short of a miracle could save him from the hands of his pursuers.
In this extremity, a young girl, of about his own age, whose heart had been touched by the melancholy tale of his perils and his sufferings, undertook to become his guide. Her name was Flora MacDonald. She was daughter of a petty laird of South Uist, who had been dead several years, and her mother was now married to another MacDonald, of the isle of Skye. Her education had been that of a simple country-girl of good family, but her beauty and her strong natural sense, accompanied by deep feeling and heartsprung enthusiasm, had made her a favorite of the Clanranalds, and other noble families of the neighbourhood, in which she was a frequent and welcome visiter.
When Flora took this adventurous resolution, she had never seen the prince, and knew him only by the songs which recorded his early triumphs, and the tales which were whispered from mouth to mouth of his subsequent disasters and dangers. O'Niel and MacEachen accompanied her to the first interview, for they alone knew the secret of his hiding-place. She found him in a little cavern formed by a crevice in the rocks, his garments soiled, his cheeks pale, his eyes hollow and sunken, his hands covered with a cutaneous disorder which he had contracted in shifting about from bovel to hovel and cavern to cavern, and his whole aspect so careworn and haggard that she burst into tears at the sight. But his cheerfulness soon dried her tears, and the gayety with which he spoke of his own appearance and situation made her laugh in despite of her melancholy. After staying as long as she dared, she gave him a basket of provisions and a change of linen, which she had brought for his use, and took her leave, with the promise of a speedy return. If before this she had felt disposed to make an effort in his favor, she was now resolved to save him at every hazard. Her mother was at the isle of Skye, which would afford a sufficient pretext for a journey thither; and as she was frequently in the habit of making these little excursions, sometimes all alone, and sometimes with a single attendant, there was every reason to hope that this also might pass off without attracting attention. The chief difficulty lay in framing a suitable disguise for the prince; for at this moment every person was closely watched, and there was no such thing as travelling in security, without a passport that covered the whole party. The habits of the country suggested an expedient. Mrs. MacDonald was a thrifty housewife, and would be glad to have an able-bodied maid to assist her in her spinning. This would be a sufficient reason for introducing another name upon the passport, , and, the first step made sure, fortune would decide the rest. The prince was informed of the character that he was to assume, and Lady Clanranald and Lady MacDonald assisted Flora in preparing his disguise.
While these preparations were going on, she continued from time to time to visit the prince in his cavern, sometimes with Lady Clanranald, and sometimes with MacEachen, but always at intervals and with the utmost precaution, in order to avoid exciting suspicion by being seen to go too often in the same direction. This was the sole relief that