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Story of Prince Charles's escape.
le trône de ses pères, que pour faire périr ses amis par des bourreaux ; et nous avons vu le Prince Charles Édouard, réunissant en vain les vertus de ses pères' et le courage du Roi Jean Sobieski, son aïeul maternel, exécuter les exploits et essuyer les malheurs les plus incroyables. Si quelque chose justifie ceux qui croient une fatalité à laquelle rien ne peut se soustraire, c'est cette suite continuelle de malheurs qui a persécuté la maison de Stuart, pendant plus de trois cents années'.'
The gallant Malcolm was apprehended in about ten days after they separated, put aboard a ship and carried prisoner to London. He said, the prisoners in general were very ill treated in their passage ; but there were soldiers on board who lived well, and sometimes invited him to share with them : that he had the good fortune not to be thrown into jail, but was confined in the house of a messenger, of the name of Dick. To his astonishment, only one witness could be found against him, though he had been so openly engaged; and therefore, for want of sufficient evidence, he was set at liberty. He added, that he thought himself in such danger, that he would gladly have compounded for banishment”. Yet, he said, 'he should never be so ready for death as he then wast.' There is philosophical truth in this. A man
1. I never heard him express any noble or benevolent sentiments, or discover any sorrow or compassion for the misfortunes of so many worthy men who had suffered in his cause. But the most odious part of his character is his love of money, a vice which I do not remember to have been imputed by our historians to any of his ancestors, and is the certain index of a base and little mind. I have known this gentleman, with 2000 Louis d'ors in his strong box, pretend he was in great distress, and borrow money from a lady in Paris, who was not in affluent circumstances.' Dr. W. King's Anec. p. 201. •Lord Marischal,' writes Hume, ‘had a very bad opinion of this unfortunate prince; and thought there was no vice so mean or atrocious of which he was not capable; of which he gave me several instances.' J. H. Burton's Hume, ii. 464.
· Siècle de Louis XIV, ch. 15. The accentuation of this passage, which was very incorrect as quoted by Boswell, I have corrected.
• By banishment he meant, I conjecture, transportation as a convict-slave to the American plantations. * Wesley in his Journal—the reference I have mislạid-seemed Sept. 13.)
Prince Charles in London.
will meet death much more firmly at one time than another. The enthusiasm even of a mistaken principle warms the mind, and sets it above the fear of death; which in our cooler moments, if we really think of it, cannot but be terrible, or at least very awful.
Miss Flora Macdonald being then also in London, under the protection of Lady Primrose', that lady provided a postchaise to convey her to Scotland, and desired she might choose any friend she pleased to accompany her. She chose Malcolm. “So (said he, with a triumphant air) I went to London to be hanged, and returned in a post-chaise with Miss Flora Macdonald.'
Mr. Macleod of Muiravenside, whom we saw at Rasay, assured us that Prince Charles was in London in 1759', and that there was then a plan in agitation for restoring his family. Dr. Johnson could scarcely credit this story, and said, there could be no probable plan at that time. Such an
from this consideration almost to regret a reprieve that came to a penitent convict.
· Hume describes how in 1753 (? 1750) the Pretender, on his secret visit to London, came to the house of a lady (who I imagined to be Lady Primrose) without giving her any preparatory information; and entered the room where she had a pretty large company with her, and was herself playing at cards. He was announced by the servant under another name. She thought the cards would have dropped from her hands on seeing him. But she had presence enough of mind to call him by the name he assumed. J. H. Burton's Hume, ii. 462. Mr. Croker (Croker's Boswell, p. 331) prints an autograph letter from Flora Macdonald which shows that Lady Primrose in 1751 had lodged £627 in a friend's hands for her behoof, and that she had in view to add more.
? It seems that the Pretender was only once in London, and that it was in 1750. Ante, i. 324, note 2. I suspect that 1759 is Boswell's mistake or his printer's. From what Johnson goes on to say it is clear that George II. was in Germany at the time of the Prince's secret visit. He was there the greater part of 1750, but not in 1753 or 1759. In 1750, moreover, the great army of the King of Prussia overawed Hanover.' Smollett's England, iii. 297. This explains what Johnson says about the King of Prussia stopping the army in Germany.
The right to the throne.
attempt could not have succeeded, unless the King of Prussia had stopped the army in Germany; for both the army and the feet would, even without orders, have fought for the King, to whom they had engaged themselves.
Having related so many particulars concerning the grandson of the unfortunate King James the Second; having given due praise to fidelity and generous attachment, which, however erroneous the judgment may be, are honourable for the heart; I must do the Highlanders the justice to attest, that I found every where amongst them a high opinion of the virtues of the King now upon the throne, and an honest disposition to be faithful subjects to his majesty, whose family has possessed the sovereignty of this country so long, that a change, even for the abdicated family, would now hurt the best feelings of all his subjects.
The abstract point of right would involve us in a discussion of remote and perplexed questions; and after all, we should have no clear principle of decision. That establishment, which, from political necessity, took place in 1688, by a breach in the succession of our kings, and which, whatever benefits may have accrued from it, certainly gave a shock to our monarchy',—the able and constitutional Blackstone wisely rests on the solid footing of authority. Our ancestors having most indisputably a competent jurisdiction to decide this great and important question, and having, in fact, decided it, it is now become our duty, at this distance of time, to acquiesce in their determination”.'
Mr. Paley, the present Archdeacon of Carlisle, in his Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, having, with much clearness of argument, shewn the duty of submission to civil government to be founded neither on an indefeasible jus divinum, nor on compact, but on expediency, lays down this rational position :
'Irregularity in the first foundation of a state, or subsequent
· See ante, iv. 190, 196.
* COMMENTARIES on the laws of England, book I. chap. 3. BosWELL.
Sept. 13.] Paley on the Christian Revelation.
violence, fraud, or injustice, in getting possession of the supreme power, are not sufficient reasons for resistance, after the government is once peaceably settled. No subject of the British empire conceives himself engaged to vindicate the justice of the Norman claim or conquest, or apprehends that his duty in any manner depends upon that controversy. So likewise, if the house of Lancaster, or even the posterity of Cromwell, had been at this day seated upon the throne of England, we should have been as little concerned to enquire how the founder of the family came there'.'
B. VI. chap. 3. Since I have quoted Mr. Archdeacon Paley upon one subject, I cannot but transcribe, from his excellent work, a distinguished passage in support of the Christian Revelation. After shewing, in decent but strong terms, the unfairness of the indirect attempts of modern infidels to unsettle and perplex religious principles, and particularly the irony, banter, and sneer, of one whom he politely calls 'an eloquent historian,' the archdeacon thus expresses himself :
• Seriousness is not constraint of thought; nor levity, freedom. Every mind which wishes the advancement of truth and knowledge, in the most important of all human researches, must abhor this licentiousness, as violating no less the laws of reasoning than the rights of decency. There is but one description of men to whose principles it ought to be tolerable. I mean that class of reasoners who can see little in christianity even supposing it to be true. To such adversaries we address this reflection.--Had Jesus Christ delivered no other declaration than the following, “The hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth,—they that have done well (good) unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation,” [St. John v. 25] he had pronounced a message of inestimable importance, and well worthy of that splendid apparatus of prophecy and miracles with which his mission was introduced and attested -a message in which the wisest of mankind would rejoice to find an answer to their doubts, and rest to their inquiries. It is idle to say that a future state had been discovered already.-It had been discovered as the Copernican System was ;—it was one guess amongst many. He alone discovers who proves, and no man can prove this point but the teacher who testifies by miracles that his doctrine comes from God.'-Book V. chap. 9.
If infidelity be disingenuously dispersed in every shape that is likely to allure, surprise, or beguile the imagination,-in a fable, a tale, a novel, a poem,-in books of travels, of philosophy, of natural history, -as Mr. Paley has well observed,- I hope it is fair in me thus to meet such poison with an unexpected antidote, which I cannot doubt will 232
Boswell's fervour of loyalty.
In conformity with this doctrine, I myself, though fully persuaded that the House of Stuart had originally no right to the crown of Scotland; for that Baliol, and not Bruce, was the lawful heir; should yet have thought it very culpable to have rebelled, on that account, against Charles the First, or even a prince of that house much nearer the time, in order to assert the claim of the posterity of Baliol.
However convinced I am of the justice of that principle, which holds allegiance and protection to be reciprocal, I do however acknowledge, that I am not satisfied with the cold sentiment which would confine the exertions of the subject within the strict line of duty. I would have every breast animated with the fervour of loyalty'; with that generous attachment which delights in doing somewhat more than is required, and makes ‘service perfect freedom. And, therefore, as our most gracious Sovereign, on his accession to the throne, gloried in being born a Briton”; so, in my more private sphere, Ego mne nunc denique natum, gratulor*. I am happy that a disputed succession no longer distracts our minds; and that a monarchy, established by law, is now so sanctioned by time, that we can fully indulge those feelings of loyalty which I am ambitious to excite. They are feelings which have ever actuated the inhabitants of the Highlands and the Hebrides. The plant of loyalty is there in full vigour, and the Brunswick graft now flourishes like a native shoot. To that spirited race of people I may with propriety apply the elegant lines of a modern poet, on the • facile temper of the beauteous sex':'
be found powerful. BOSWELL. The 'eloquent historian’ was Gibbon. See Paley's Principles, ed. 1786, p. 395.
· In The Life of Johnson (ante, iii. 128), Boswell quotes these words, without shewing that they are his own; but italicises not fervour, but loyalty.
Whose service is perfect freedom.' Book of Common Prayer. 3 See ante, i. 408, note 2.
4 Ovid, Ars Amatoria, iii, 121. * This facile temper of the beauteous sex
Great Agamemnon, brave Pelides proved.' These two lines follow the four which Boswell quotes. Agis, act iv.