« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
sentiment roused for a moment a corresponding feeling in the breast of the General." I will not say that you are in the wrong," was his first observation; but he added, " you are now in the king's mercy, and if you will not declare every thing you know of this matter, here is a machine that will force you to declare.” Donald, who had no secret to keep, gave a narrative of past events and escaped the torture. But he was detained a prisoner on board a sloop of war, where he and his fellow captives were very roughly used. They had their quarters assigned in a dark part of the ship, where they were not allowed the light of a candle of any kind, from the first day of August, 1746, to the 9th April, 1747. When they were brought opposite to Tilbury Fort upon the Thames they were transferred to another vessel, where they lay for months together in the most deplorable state of misery, " their clothes wearing so off them that many at last had not a single rag to cover their nakedness.” Here they were treated with the utmost barbarity and cruelty, with a view, as they supposé, to pine away their lives, and by piece meal to destroy every man of them; and, indeed, the design had too great success, for many of them died. Donald Macleod said he had reason to think that not less than four hundred men died on board three ships opposite Tilbury Fort, among whom were the sixty or seventy Grants of Glenmoriston, who, by the persuasion of the Laird of Grant, had surrendered themselves and delivered up their arms at Inverness. He said that finer and stouter men never drew a sword, and only one or two survived the miseries of this confinement and returned to their own country.
Bishop Forbes relates that when Donald and a friend were talking of the barbarous usage they themselves and others had met with, they used to say "God forgie them! But God let them never die till we have them in the same condition they had us, and
we would not treat them as they treated us; we would shew them the difference between a good and a bad cause."
When it became necessary to have the prince reinóved to a greater distance from his enemies, Miss Flora Mac Donald was induced to conduct him, under the disguise of a maid servant and the name of Betty Burke, to the house of her mother, now united a second time in marriage to Macdonald of Armadale, in the isle of Sky. They embarked from South Uist in a small boat, attended by one servant, Neil Mackechan, father of the celebrated Marshal Macdonald Duke of Tarentum. They had not rowed from shore above a league when the sea became rough and at length tempestuous; upon which the royal handmaiden, who was recommended to the lady of Armyndale as an excellent spinner, enter
we are sure
tained Flora and the boatman with several songs. Charles, little accustomed to the long petticoat, though he had often worn the philibeg, appeared a very awkward female. One of the damsels in Sky, struck with his unseemly gait, declared she“ had never seen such an impudent looking woman in her life, and was sure she was either an Irishwoman or a man in woman's dress.” Flora gave him several hints as to the management of his garments, particularly in crossing the mountain rivulets, when the prince either shewed his limbs too freely, or allowed his gown to drag in the water. When Charles took leave of this heroic lady he saluted her, and said, " for all that has happened yet, I hope we shall one day meet in St. James's.”
Upon reaching the mainland, the adventurer was received by Macdonald of Boradale, who had lost a son at Culloden. When he entered the house seeking protection and saw the mother of the young man who had recently lost his life under his banners, he went up to her, and with tears in his eyes asked if she could still endure the sight of one who had been the cause of so much distress to her and her family. “Yes,"answered this Roman mother, “although all my sons had fallen in your Royal Highness's service!" After lurking in the Highlands till the middle of September, Charles was received on board a French ship, and took his final leave of a country in which during fourteen months he had suffered much anxiety and many privations.
His numerous escapes were almost miraculous : and in his cause, too, the meanminded became exalted; the faithless acted upon principles of honor; the robber proved kind and considerate; boys acted like heroes; and women suffered like martyrs. But in return, many of the great let themselves down till they were within reach of the most unworthy motives which spring from selfishness, envy, resentment, and deceit; and, doomed to fall, they neglected, in too many cases, to fall with dignity.
No one can read these Memoirs without being struck with the resemblance between the adventures of Charles II., after the battle of Worcester, and those of his grand-nephew in the Scottish Highlands. The Miss Lane, who tigured in the former case, was the counterpart of Flora Macdonald in the latter; and it is well known, that the merry monarch found it necessary to assume the garb of a servant, and appear as the groom of the lady to whose zeal and presence of mind he owed his escape. Nor was the fidelity of the English boor less conspicuous than that of the Hebridian boatman. The person of the king had become known to no fewer than forty individuals, not one of whom could be tempted to betray him. Even the waiter at an inn who recoguized
his countenance, kept the secret, notwithstanding the high reward which was offered for his apprehension.
In these days, too, of ascending democracy, it is gratifying to observe the reverence which was displayed by the old Jacobites for the claims of sovereignty, the legal transmission of the crown, and even for the personal reliques of the Royal House, which they delighted to honour. As à philosophical speculation, the doctrine of divine right may be untenable ; it may also be denounced as a pernicious absurdity, inconsistent with all the privileges of social life; but, nevertheless, as a barrier against the inroads of popular fury and ambition, it may be regarded as, at least, a harmless prejudice. The veneration, indeed, which some of the non-jurors bestowed upon apron strings and little pieces of printed linen may excite a smile of contempt; though it might be confessed that such political superstition is at once more amiable and less dangerous than the rage for change and neglect of authority, which mark the times wherein our destiny is thrown. The pride of living under a monarch who could boast of being the descendant of a hundred kings, is more noble than a churlish enmity against all ancient institutions, a clamour for cheap government, and a preference of republican equality,
Art. IX.-A Voyage round the World, including Travels in
Africa, Asia, Australasia, America, &c. &c., from 1827 to 1932. By James Holman, R. N. F, R.S. &c. London : Smith,
Elder and Co. 1834. Never did we open any Work more cumulated with paradox than that now lying before us. Mr. Holman has the misfortune of being stone-blind, and therefore he is beset with an insatiate passion for Travelling: as he projected a voyage of pleasure, he chose the Slave-coast for his destination : and in order to promote the recovery of his health, he fixed upon an abode under the proverbial death-climate of Sierra Leone.
There are many obvious circumstances which “ fright” all criticism “ from its propriety" in the estimate which it may attempt to form of these pages; and we shall for the most part content ourselves with an endeavour to abridge their narrative, which is
very far from being devoid of interest. Its few sins are chiefly of a kind, which may be remedied by a little amputation;
and if we omit some incidents, and soften others which are coloured rather too strongly, we may perhaps succeed, as we wish to do, in leaving a favourable impression of the writer.
On July 1, 1827, Mr. Holman embarked at Woolwich on board the good ship Eden, Captain W. F.W. Owen, Commander, who had been appointed Superintendent of a new settlement about to be established on the Island of Fernando Po; which a reference to any map of Africa will shew to be situated in the Western bend of the Bight of Biafra. We may pass rapidly by Northfleet, the Downs, and even the Levee of his present Majesty, (at that time Lord High Admiral) at Plymouth.' We shall land neither at Madeira nor at Teneriffe; nor shall we dwell
the respective excellences of Tinto, Sercial, or Malmsey; nor describe the properties of the Orchilla weed at St. Iago; albeit that plant" belongs to the Class Cryptogamia and Order Algæ of the Linnean system, and to the Class Algæ and Order Lichenes of the Natural system. This information, and much more similis farina, may be learned without the trouble of crossing the Tropic of Cancer, and therefore we shall anchor at once “ in 141 fathom water off the town of Sierra Leone, shortly before midnight, on Sunday the 2d of September.” How much Chronological obscurity would have been escaped, if all writers had accustomed themselves to the laudable habits of log-book precision !
The first settler who came on board, on the morning after the arrival of the Eden, was the agent-victualler of the Colony; his main object was to obtain a secret supply of medicines; for although, as in professional duty bound, he assured all his customers that brandy and water and cigars were infallible remedies for the fever, (how much is expressed here by the definite article!) he felt some not unreasonable misgiving of his favourite pharmacopæia, which was justified by his demise within a week. Deaths and Tornados, indeed, appear to have been the daily and almost the sole object of contemplation during Mr. Holman's stay at Sierra Leone.
The Sherbro Boollams, whose territories adjoin the North of this Colony, have long evinced themselves very faithful allies of the British; and thirty years ago their Chief prevented a dangerous invasion, by refusing free passage to the hostile Tribes who meditated attack. As an acknowledgment of this important service, he was invited to Freetown, and solemnly crowned there by the title of King George. Upon bis death, in 1826, an interregnum of many months ensued; but the maintenance of the British interest being deemed especially necessary in this Court, it was determined that a Cominissioner should be despatched, in order,
NO, XXXI.-JULY, 1834.
in the first instance, to secure the election of one Macaulay Wilson, a man of considerable abilities, who had been educated in England, and was the nearest relative of the late King; and afterwards to negociate a Convention, by which the sovereignty of Boollam was to be ceded to Great Britain under certain stipulations. Without that arrangement, the suppression of the Slave-trade appeared impossible; for Dealers might in a few hours transfer themselves and their cargoes from Sierra Leone, without the reach of British Law.
Lieutenant Maclean, the officer selected for this service, appears to have executed his diplomacy with considerable adroitness. The chief opposition which he was expected to encounter, was likely to arise from the Mandingo headmen, all of whom are covertly or openly engaged in the Slave-trade; but the principal of these Settlers, Dalmahoumedii, a man of large property, was either gained over, or dissembled his enmity. He entertained the Commissioner with a dinner dressed in the European manner; drank wine freely, although he was a Mohammedan; and permitted such of his eighty-five wives as were present (forty-five of them having been wedded in one day) to partake of the same beverage.
During the Election and Coronation of a King, a period which for the most part exceeds a fortnight, all crimes, excepting murder or an attempt at murder, may be committed with impunity. It does not surprise us, therefore, that the population of Yougroo (the Rheims of Boollam), which in ordinary seasons does not exceed 500, or 600, souls, was swelled to as many thousands by the influx of all the idle and worthless of the neighbouring nations, who were willing to profit by this “ sleep of the law.” Many persons, especially Minstrels or Bards, had walked upwards of 400 miles from the interior.
The Kings of Boollam, hitherto, when about to expire, had been hastened out of the World by their loving subjects, who sacrificed two human victims over their graves. Through fear of
a palaver” with Sierra Leone, this custom had been first violated in the person of King George, who was allowed to die a natural death, after he had attained, as was said, more than one hundred years. John Macaulay Wilson was elected his successor without opposition; the Boollam Country was declared to be in the palm of his band, and the scales of justice to liang upon his finger. The speeches which announced his inauguration were long, pointed, sonorous, complimentary and congratulatory. Certain mysterious ceremonies were celebrated in the depths of the Bush, from which the uninitiated were excluded, and which, therefore, of course, Lieutenant Maclean cannot describe; and afterwards, while the natives paid homage, the Minstrels performed a concert