« PreviousContinue »
He was therefore obliged to refund the sum he had received ; and he resolved to wreak his vengeance, with the first opportunity, on those who had frustrated his intention. He who chiefly thwarted his negociation was Macdonald of Glencoe, whose opposition rose from a private circumstance, which ought to have had no effect upon a treaty that regarded the public weal. Macdonald had plundered the lands of Breadalbane during the course of hostilities; and this nobleman insisted upon being indemnified for his losses, from the other's share of the money which he was employed to distribute. The Highlander not only refused to acquiesce in these terms, but, by his infuence among the clans, defeated the whole scheme, and the Earl in revenge devoted him to destruction. King William had by proclamation offered an indemnity to all those who had been in arms against him, provided they would submit, and take the oaths by a certain day; and this was prolonged to the close of the year 1691, with a denunciation of military execution against those who should hold out af. ter the end of December. Macdonald, intimidated by this declaration, repaired on the very last day of the month to Fort William, and desired that the oaths might be tendered to him by Colonel Hill, governor of that fortress. As this officer was not vested with the power of a civil magistrate, he refused to administer them; and Macdonald set out immediately for Inverary, the county town of Argyle. Though the ground was covered with snow, and the weather intensely cold, he travelled with such diligence, that the term prescribed by the proclamation was but one day elapsed when he reached the place, and addressed himself to Sir John Campbell, sheriff of the county, who, in consideration of his disappointment at Fort William, was prevailed upon to administer the oaths to him and his adherents. Then they returned to their own habitations in the valley of Glencoe, in full confidence of being protected by the government, to which they had so solemnly submitted.-Breadalbane had represented Macdonald at court as an incorrigible rebel, as a ruffian ingred to bloodshed and rapine, who would never be obedient to the laws of his country, nor live peaceably under any sovereign. He observed, that he had paid no regard to the proclamation, and proposed that the government should sacrifice him to the quiet of the kingdom, in extirpating him, with his family and dependents, by military execution. His advice was supported by the suggestions of the other Scottish ministers; and the king, whose chief virtue was not humanity, signed a warrant for the destruction of those unhappy people, though it does not appear that he knew of Macdonald's submission. An order for this barbarous execution, signed and countersigned by his Majesty's own hand, being transmitted to the Master of Stair, secretary for Scotland, this minister sent particular directions to Livingstone, who commanded the troops in that kingdom, to put the inhabitants of Glencoe to the sword, charging him to take no prisoners, that the scene might be more terrible. In the month of February, Captain Campbell, of Glenlyon, by virtue of an order from Major Duncanson, marched into the valley of Glencoe, with a company of soldiers belonging to Argyle's regiment, on pretence of levying the arrears of the land-tax and hearth-money. When Macdonald demanded whether they came as friends or enemies, he answered, as friends, and promised, upon his honour, that neither he nor his people should sustain the least injury. In consequence of this declaration, he and his men were received with the most cordial hospitality, and lived fifteen days with the men of the valley, in all the appearance of the most unreserved friendship. At length the fatal day approached. Macdonald and Campbell having passed the day together, parted about seven in the evening, with mutual professions of the warmest affection. The younger Macdonald, perceiving the guards doubled, began to suspect some treachery, and communicated his suspicion to his brother; but neither he nor the father would harbour the least doubt of Campbell's sincerity: never. theless the two young men went forth privately to make further observations. They overheard the common soldiers say they liked not the work; that though they would have willingly fought the Macdonalds of the glen fairly in the field, they held it base to murder them in cool blood, but that their officers were answerable for the treachery. When the youths hasted back to apprise their father of the impending danger, they saw the house already surrounded: they heard the discharge of muskets, the shrieks of women and children; and, being destitute of arms, secured their
own lives by immediate Alight. The savage ministers of ven. geance had entered the old man's chamber, and shot him through the head. He fell down dead in the arms of his wife, who died next day, distracted by the horror of her husband's fate. The laird of Auchintrincken, Macdonald's guest, who had three months before this period submitted to the government, and at this very time had a protection in his pocket, was put to death without question. A boy of eight years, who fell at Campbell's feet, imploring mercy, and offering to serve him for life, was stabbed to the heart by one Drummond, a subaltern officer. Thirtyeight persons suffered in this manner, the greater part of whom were surprised in their beds, and hurried into eternity before they had time to implore the divine mercy. The design was to butcher all the males under seventy that lived in the valley, the number of whom amounted to two hundred; but some of the detachments did not arrive soon enough to secure the passes, so that one hundred and sixty escaped. Campbell having perpetrated this brutal massacre, ordered all the houses to be burned, made a prey of all the cattle and effects that were found in the valley, and left the helpless women and children, whose fathers and husbands he had murdered, naked and forlorn, without covering, food, or shelter, in the midst of the snow that covered the whole face of the country, at the distance of six long miles from any inhabited place. Distracted with grief and horror, surrounded with the shades of night, shivering with cold, and appalled with the apprehension of immediate death from the swords of those who had sacrificed their friends and kinsmen, they could not endure such a complication of calamities, but generally perished in the waste before they could receive the least comfort or assistance.
TUNE " Roslin Castle."
To Evan banks, with temp’rate ray,
And she, in simple beauty drest,
Ye lofty banks that Evan bound;
Can all the wealth of India's coast
HOW HARD'S THE FATE OF WOMANKIND.
TUNE_" For a' that an'a' that.”
When I think on't for a' that:
For a' that and a' that,
They darena tell for a' that.
Which causes this and a' that,
For a that, fc.
That play the fool and a' that ;
For a' that and a' that,
JEANIE'S BLACK EE.
TUNE" Cauld Frosty Morning."
Light sprang the lay'rock and mounted sae hie; When true to the tryst o' blythe May's dewie morning,
My Jeanie cam linking out owre the green lea.
* Written by a Young Lady.