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Story of Prince Charles's escape.

[Sept. 13.

to look for him. In a short time he appeared, and went into the publick house. Here Donald Roy, whom he had seen at Mugstot, received him, and informed him of what had been concerted. He wanted silver for a guinea, but the landlord had only thirteen shillings. He was going to accept of this for his guinea; but Donald Roy very judiciously observed, that it would discover him to be some great man; so he desisted. He slipped out of the house, leaving his fair protectress, whom he never again saw; and Malcolm Macleod was presented to him by Donald Roy, as a captain in his army. Young Rasay and Dr. Macleod had waited, in impatient anxiety, in the boat. When he came, their names were announced to him. He would not permit the usual ceremonies of respect, but saluted them as his equals.

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Donald Roy staid in Sky, to be in readiness to get intelligence, and give an alarm in case the troops should discover the retreat to Rasay; and Prince Charles was then conveyed in a boat to that island in the night. He slept a little upon the passage, and they landed about day-break. There was some difficulty in accommodating him with a lodging, as almost all the houses in the island had been burnt by the soldiery. They repaired to a little hut, which some shepherds had lately built, and having prepared it as well as they could, and made a bed of heath for the stranger, they kindled a fire, and partook of some provisions which had been sent with him from Kingsburgh. It was observed, that he would not taste wheat-bread, or brandy, while oat-bread and whisky lasted; for these, (said he,) are my own country bread and drink.'-This was very engaging to the Highlanders.

Young Rasay being the only person of the company that durst appear with safety, he went in quest of something fresh for them to eat: but though he was amidst his own cows, sheep, and goats, he could not venture to take any of them for fear of a discovery, but was obliged to supply himself by stealth. He therefore caught a kid, and brought it

to

Sept. 13.] Story of Prince Charles's escape.

to the hut in his plaid, and it was killed and drest, and furnished them a meal which they relished much. The distressed Wanderer, whose health was now a good deal impaired by hunger, fatigue, and watching, slept a long time, but seemed to be frequently disturbed. Malcolm told me. he would start from broken slumbers, and speak to himself in different languages, French, Italian, and English. I must however acknowledge, that it is highly probable that my worthy friend Malcolm did not know precisely the difference between French and Italian. One of his expressions in English was, 'O GOD! poor Scotland!'

While they were in the hut, M'Kenzie and M'Friar, the two boatmen, were placed as sentinels upon different eminences; and one day an incident happened, which must not be omitted. There was a man wandering about the island, selling tobacco. Nobody knew him, and he was suspected to be a spy. M'Kenzie came running to the hut, and told that this suspected person was approaching. Upon which the three gentlemen, young Rasay, Dr. Macleod, and Malcolm, held a council of war upon him, and were unanimously of opinion that he should instantly be put to death. Prince Charles, at once assuming a grave and even severe countenance, said, 'God forbid that we should take away a man's life, who may be innocent, while we can preserve our own.' The gentlemen however persisted in their resolution, while he as strenuously continued to take the merciful side. John M'Kenzie, who sat watching at the door of the hut, and overheard the debate, said in Erse, 'Well, well; he must be shot. You are the king, but we are the parliament, and will do what we choose.' Prince Charles, seeing the gentlemen smile, asked what the man had said, and being told it in English, he observed that he was a clever fellow, and, notwithstanding the perilous situation in which he was, laughed loud and heartily. Luckily the unknown person did not perceive that there were people in the hut, at least did not come to it, but walked on past it, unknowing of his risk. It was afterwards found out that he was one of the Highland army, who

was

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Story of Prince Charles's escape.

[Sept. 13.

was himself in danger. Had he come to them, they were resolved to dispatch him; for, as Malcolm said to me, 'We could not keep him with us, and we durst not let him go. In such a situation, I would have shot my brother, if I had not been sure of him.' John M'Kenzie was at Rasay's house when we were there'. About eighteen years before, he hurt one of his legs when dancing, and being obliged to have it cut off, he now was going about with a wooden leg. The story of his being a member of parliament is not yet forgotten. I took him out a little way from the house, gave him. a shilling to drink Rasay's health, and led him into a detail of the particulars which I have just related. With less foundation, some writers have traced the idea of a parliament, and of the British constitution, in rude and early times. I was curious to know if he had really heard, or understood, any thing of that subject, which, had he been a greater man, would probably have been eagerly maintained. 'Why, John, (said I), did you think the king should be controuled by a parliament?' He answered, 'I thought, Sir, there were many voices against one.'

The conversation then turning on the times, the Wanderer said, that, to be sure, the life he had led of late was a very hard one; but he would rather live in the way he now did, for ten years, than fall into the hands of his enemies. The gentlemen asked him, what he thought his enemies would do with him, should he have the misfortune to fall into their hands. He said, he did not believe they would dare to take his life publickly, but he dreaded being privately destroyed by poison or assassination. He was very particular in his inquiries about the wound which Dr. Macleod had received at the battle of Culloden, from a ball which entered at one shoulder, and went across to the other. The doctor happened still to have on the coat which he wore on that occasion. He mentioned, that he himself had his horse shot under him at Culloden; that the ball hit the horse about two

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This old Scottish member of parliament, I am informed, is still living (1785). BOSWELL.

Sept. 13.] Story of Prince Charles's escape.

inches from his knee, and made him so unruly that he was obliged to change him for another. He threw out some reflections on the conduct of the disastrous affair at Culloden, saying, however, that perhaps it was rash in him to do so. I am now convinced that his suspicions were groundless; for I have had a good deal of conversation upon the subject with my very worthy and ingenious friend, Mr. Andrew Lumisden, who was under secretary to Prince Charles, and afterwards principal secretary to his father at Rome, who, he assured me, was perfectly satisfied both of the abilities and honour of the generals who commanded the Highland army on that occasion. Mr. Lumisden has written an account of the three battles in 1745-6, at once accurate and classical'. Talking of the different Highland corps, the gentlemen who were present wished to have his opinion which were the best soldiers. He said, he did not like comparisons among those corps: they were all best.

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He told his conductors, he did not think it advisable to remain long in any one place; and that he expected a French ship to come for him to Lochbroom, among the Mackenzies. It then was proposed to carry him in one of Malcolm's boats to Lochbroom, though the distance was fifteen leagues coastwise. But he thought this would be too dangerous, and desired that, at any rate, they might first endeavour to obtain intelligence. Upon which young Rasay wrote to his friend, Mr. M'Kenzie of Applecross, but received an answer, that there was no appearance of any French ship.

It was therefore resolved that they should return to Sky, which they did, and landed in Strath, where they reposed in a cow-house belonging to Mr. Niccolson of Scorbreck. The sea was very rough, and the boat took in a good deal of water. The Wanderer asked if there was danger, as he was not used to such a vessel. Upon being told there was not, he sung an Erse song with much vivacity. He had by this time acquired a good deal of the Erse language.

' I cannot find that this account was ever published. Mr. Lumisden is mentioned ante, ii. 460, note 1.

Young

Story of Prince Charles's escape.

[Sept. 13.

Young Rasay was now dispatched to where Donald Roy was, that they might get all the intelligence they could; and the Wanderer, with much earnestness, charged Dr. Macleod to have a boat ready, at a certain place about seven miles off, as he said he intended it should carry him upon a matter of great consequence; and gave the doctor a case, containing a silver spoon, knife, and fork, saying, 'keep you that till I see you,' which the doctor understood to be two days from that time. But all these orders were only blinds; for he had another plan in his head, but wisely thought it safest to trust his secrets to no more persons than was absolutely necessary. Having then desired Malcolm to walk with him a little way from the house, he soon opened his mind, saying, 'I deliver myself to you. Conduct me to the Laird of M'Kinnon's country.' Malcolm objected that it was very dangerous, as so many parties of soldiers were in motion. He answered, 'There is nothing now to be done without danger.' He then said, that Malcolm must be the master, and he the servant: so he took the bag, in which his linen was put up, and carried it on his shoulder; and observing that his waistcoat, which was of scarlet tartan, with a gold twist button, was finer than Malcolm's, which was of a plain ordinary tartan, he put on Malcolm's waistcoat, and gave him his; remarking at the same time, that it did not look well that the servant should be better dressed than the master.

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Malcolm, though an excellent walker, found himself excelled by Prince Charles, who told him, he should not much mind the parties that were looking for him, were he once but a musket shot from them; but that he was somewhat afraid of the Highlanders who were against him. He was well used to walking in Italy, in pursuit of game; and he was even now so keen a sportsman, that, having observed some partridges, he was going to take a shot: but Malcolm cautioned him against it, observing that the firing might be heard by the tenders' who were hovering upon the coast.

1

This word is not in Johnson's Dictionary.

As

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