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of invasion was assembling in the north, and a fleet of transports at Dunkirk. Marshal Saxe, who till then had manifested but little inclination for the enterprise which he had been chosen to command, was completely won over by the prince's enthusiasm, and entered heartily into his views. The king, it is true, still refused to receive him at court, and his negotiations were drawn out through indirect channels; but here, at last, was something done, and something doing, and the speedy promise of more.
But all these bright prospects were suddenly overcast. A tempest scattered the French and English fleets, as they were upon the point of engaging, and wrecked several transports in which a portion of the troops had already been embarked. Marshal Saxe was ordered into Flanders to take command of the army, with which he fought, next year, the decisive battle of Fontenoy; and the court relapsed into that system of tergiversation and indifference by which it had already tried the patience of the Jacobites so severely. Charles Edward retired to Gravelines, deeply depressed, but not disheartened; and not long afterwards, took a house in the neighbourhood of Paris, where, to use his own words, he led the life of a hermit. Months passed away in fruitless remonstrances and negotiations, until he became convinced that no efficient aid could be expected from the court of Versailles. It has subsequently been shown, that Louis the Fifteenth had been induced to abandon an enterprise which promised him so much advantage by the remonstrances of his Protestant allies, justly alarmed at the prospect of so formidable an accession to the Catholic cause.
And now it was that the heroic character of the young prince shone out in full lustre. It had been in compliance with the wishes of his adherents, rather than by his own free will, that he had consented to the French invasion; for, unlike a prince of our own times, his heart revolted at the idea of ascending the throne of his fathers under the escort of foreign bayonets. His partisans were far from sharing his scruples, and the assistance of a body of French troops was a condition upon which they had constantly insisted throughout all their negotiations. This they could no longer count upon, and it now remained to be decided whether the enterprise should be abandoned, or made with such forces as could be raised upon the spot.
His decision was promptly taken, and, fully aware how much opposition it would meet with in every quarter, he resolved to carry on his preparations with all possible secrecy. There was living at that time, at Nantes, an adherent of the Stuarts by the name of Walsh, whose father had distinguished himself, on several occasions, by his devotion to the exiled monarch, and had received the title of Count in reward for his services. The son had engaged in commerce and privateering, which, according to the ideas of Brittany, were no spot upon his nobility. To him it was that Charles Edward addressed himself for the means of transportation, and by his zeal and activity an old ship of eighteen guns, called the Elizabeth, and the Doutelle, a frigate of twenty guns, were fitted up, as if for a cruise to the northward, and freighted with arms and ammunition. Another exile, a banker, named Rutledge, advanced part of the money, and Charles sent word to Rome to raise what they could upon his jewels, declaring that he should never be able to wear them with any degree of pleasure, when he remembered how much better they might have been employed.
The moment that his preparations were completed, he set out from the castle of Navarre, where he had been staying with his friend and cousin, the young Duc de Bouillon, and hastened with the utmost secrecy to the place of embarkation at St. Nazaire, at the mouth of the Loire. The letters announcing his intentions to his father and to the king of France were kept back until he was beyond the reach of remonstrance. The wind was against him, and he was compelled to curb his impatience for a few days longer. At last it changed in his favor, and on the 2d of July, 1745, entering a fisherman's boat in the disguise of a student from the Scotch college of Paris, he was quickly wafted to the side of the Doutelle. Walsh himself had assumed the command; and with him were seven others, devoted adherents of the exiled family, who had resolved to stand by their prince in this last and apparently desperate effort for the throne of his fathers.
On the 12th, they were joined by the Elizabeth at the rendezvous, at Belle Isle, and spread their sails for Scotland. The first three days went calmly by ; but on the fourth they descried a strange sail, which, approaching the Elizabeth, hoisted English colors. It was the Lion, a fifty-eight gun
ship, commanded by Captain Brett, afterwards Lord Percy. The Elizabeth immediately ranged up with her, and opened a destructive fire. For several hours a heavy cannonade was kept up on both sides, during which both captains were wounded, and each vessel suffered severely. At the sound of the first gun, Charles Edward, forgetting his assumed character, hurried to the deck, calling loudly for a sword, and insisting that the Doutelle should come in for her part of the honors of the combat. "Monsieur l'Abbé," said Walsh, taking him hastily by the arm, "this is not your place; have the goodness to withdraw to your cabin." The combat lasted till nightfall, when both ships, being too much disabled to keep the sea, sought the nearest ports, as best they could. The Doutelle held on her course, but this casual encounter deprived the young prince of his arms and stores, which had been embarked on board the Elizabeth.
Once again they were menaced with the same danger, from three ships of war which they fell in with, towards the south of Long island, and only escaped by keeping close under the western coast of Barra, and anchoring between South Uist and Eriska. As they approached the land, an eagle was seen hovering over the ship. "It is the king of birds," said the Marquis of Tullibardine, "come to welcome your Royal Highness to Scotland." It was the 1st of July, and with a joyful heart Charles Edward set foot, for the first time, on the soil of that kingdom towards which, from earliest childhood, his hopes and his wishes had been directed.
His first care was to despatch a messenger to Boisdale of Clanranald, by whose influence over the mind of the elder brother he hoped to obtain an immediate declaration of the clan. Boisdale obeyed the summons, but with a manner which showed there was little to be hoped from the interview. "I can count upon Mac Donald of Sleat, and the laird of MacLeod," said the prince. "Undeceive yourself," was the inauspicious reply; " they have both resolved not to raise a single man, unless your Royal Highness comes attended with regular forces."
This was a bad outset, and some of the party, it is said, began already to wish themselves safely back in France. Charles Edward was not so easily discouraged, but, setting sail, held on his way among the islands, to Loch Nanuagh, between Moidart and Arisaig, where he again cast anchor.
The next morning Clanranald the younger, with MacDonald of Kinloch, and the lairds of Glenaladale and Dalily, came to wait upon him. But it was evident that they, too, had adopted Boisdale's opinion, and were unwilling to risk their fortunes upon so hazardous a cast. Charles Edward put forth all his eloquence, in order to move them; and, finding arguments fruitless, addressed himself to their feelings. "I am your prince, your countryman, your friend," said he ; "do not abandon the son of your king!" In the group on the deck was a younger brother of MacDonald of Kinloch Moidart, who, without knowing the full purport of the conversation, had caught enough of its meaning to understand how nearly it touched the loyalty of his clan. His eyes lighted up, his color went and came, and in the warmth of his emotions, he grasped the hilt of his claymore with an energy that drew the attention of the prince. "And you," said he, turning to the only one who appeared to feel for his situation, "will you not fight for me?" "Yes," replied the gallant youth, "if I were the only one in all Scotland to draw my sword, I would be ready to die for you." "I have at last found a defender," cried the prince, bursting into tears; "give me but a few more such Scotchmen as this, and I am sure of the throne of my fathers." The impulse was irresistible, and the chiefs, giving way to their enthusiasm, swore, with one accord, to lay down their lives in his cause.
Charles Edward now landed, sending back the Doutelle to France, with letters to his father and the king. A guard of a hundred men immediately gathered round him, and from every quarter came young and old, men, women, and children, flocking to look upon the face of their prince.
Meanwhile, measures were taking for raising the clans. Clanranald went in person to Sir Alexander MacDonald, and the laird of MacLeod, two chiefs of great influence, who held three thousand men at their disposal. But they persisted in their refusal to rise, without the support of regular troops. Lochiel, chief of the Camerons, had come to the same decision, but resolved, out of respect to the prince, to be himself the bearer of these unwelcome tidings. “Do not risk it," said his brother; "I know you better than you know yourself. If the prince once sets his eyes upon you, he will do whatever he pleases with you." Lochiel persisted,
and, repairing to Charles's head-quarters, frankly declared his disapprobation of the enterprise. ""T is true," said the prince, "I am come alone, when you looked to see me with an army. Evasive answers, and hopes which perhaps are false, are all that I have been able to get from the ministers of Louis, and I thank Heaven for it. Let the Elector of Hanover surround himself with foreign guards; it is to the nation itself that I look for support. The first victory will, perhaps, hasten the arrival of the French, who will then come as allies, not as protectors." "Give me a few days for deliberation," said Lochiel, already moved by the prince's energy and fire. "No, no," replied he, with increasing animation, "I have already a few friends with me. With these I shall raise the royal standard, and announce to Great Britain that Charles Stuart is come to reclaim the crown of his ancestors, or perish in the attempt. Lochiel, whose faith and friendship my father has so often vaunted, may remain at home; the newspapers will announce to him the fate of his prince." This bitter reproach was too much for the gallant-spirited chieftain. "Be it what it may, I will share it with you, and so shall all those over whom nature or fortune has given me control."
Without loss of time he returned home to gather his clan. This was all that Clanranald was waiting for in order to call out his own; and small parties were soon afoot under the MacDonalds of Keppoch and Tierndreich. The rendezvous was fixed at Glenfinnin, a long, narrow valley, watered By the little torrent of Finnin, and opening on Loch Shiel, with a mound in the centre, on which the royal standard was to be raised.
Hither Charles Edward repaired on the morning of the 19th of August; but not a plaid was to be seen, and the solemn silence of a mountain solitude overhung the glen. The only trace of living thing that he could descry was a sombre little hut, and towards this he directed his steps. The occupants received him with respect, but could give him no relief from his perplexity. It was eleven in the morning, and two hours had passed anxiously away, when the notes of a distant pibroch were heard among the hills. As the sound became more distinct, it was recognized as that of the Camerons; and shortly after, eight hundred clansmen were seen winding their way through the pass to the place