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of the night. Rumbold and a few other braTe men whom no danger could have soared lost their way, and were unable to rejoin the main body. When the day broke, only fire hundred fugitives, wearied and dispirited, assembled at Kilpatrick.
All thought of prosecuting the war was at an end: and it was plain that the chiefs of the expedition would have sufficient difficulty in escaping with their lives. They fled in different directions. Hume reached the Continent in safety. Cochrane was taken, and >ijji«» sen': UP *° London. Argyle priKDCT. hoped to find a secure asylum under the roof of one of his old servants who lived near Kilpatrick. But this hope was disappointed; and he was forced to cross the Clyde. He assumed the dress of a peasant, and pretended to be the guide of Major Fullarton, whose courageous fidelity was proof to all danger. The friends journeyed together through Renfrewshire as far as Inehinnan. At that place the Black Cart and the White Cart, two streams which now flow through prosperous towns, and turn the wheels of many factories, but which then held their quiet course through moors and sheepwalks, mingle before they join the Clyde. The only ford by which the travellers conld cross was guarded by a party of militia. Some questions were asked. Fullarton tried to draw suspicion on himself, in order that his companion night escape unnoticed. But the minds of the questioners misgave them that the guide was not the rude clown that he seemed. They laid hands on him. He broke loose and sprang into the water, but was instantly chased. He stood at bay for a short time against five assailants. But he had no arms eicept his pocket pistols, and they were so wet, in consequence of his plunge, that they would not go off. He was struck to the ground with a broadsword, and secured.
He owned himself to be the Earl of Argyle, probably in the hope that his great name would excite the awe and pity of those who had seized him. And indeed they were much moved. For liey were plain Scotchmen of humble
rank, and, though in arms for the crown, probably cherished a preference for the Calvinistic church government and worship, and had been accustomed to reverence their captive as the head of an illustrious house and as a champion of the Protestant religion. But, though they were evidently touched, and though some of them even wept, they were not disposed to relinquish a large reward and to incur the vengeance of an implacable government. They therefore conveyed their prisoner to Benfrew. The man who bore the chief part in the arrest was named RiddelL On this account the whole race of Eiddells was, during more than a century, held in abhorrence by the great tribe of Campbell. Within living memory, when a Kiddell visited a fair in Argyleshire, he found it necessary to assume a false name.
And now commenced the brightest part of Argyle's career. His enterprise had hitherto brought on him nothing but reproach and derision. His great error was that he did not resolutely refuse to accept the name without the power of a general. Had he remained quietly at his retreat in Friesland, he would in a few years have been recalled with honour to his country, and would have been conspicuous among the ornaments and the props of constitutional monarchy. Had he conducted his expedition according to his own views, and carried with him no followers but such as were prepared implicitly to obey all his orders, he might possibly have effected something great. For what ho wanted as a captain seems to have been, not courage, nor activity, nor skill, but simply authority. He should have known that of all wants this is the most fatal. Armies have triumphed under leaders who possessed no very eminent qualifications. But what army commanded by a debating club ever escaped discomfiture and disgrace?
The great calamity which had fallen on Argyle had this advantage, that it enabled him to show, by proofs not to be mistaken, what manner of man he was. From the day when he quitted Friesland to the day when his followers separated at Kilpatrick, he had never been a free agent. Ho had borne the responsibility of a long series of measures which his judgment disapproved. Now at length he stood alone. Captivity had restored to him the noblest kind of liberty, the liberty of governing himself in all his words and actions according to his own sense of the right and of the becoming. From that moment he became as one inspired with new wisdom and virtue. His intellect seemed to be strengthened and concentrated, his moral character to be at once elevated and softened. The insolence of the conquerors spared nothing that could try the temper of a man proud of ancient nobility and of patriarchal dominion. The prisoner was dragged through Edinburgh in triumph. He walked on foot, bareheaded, up the whole length of that stately street which, overshadowed by dark and gigantic piles of stone, leads from Holyrood House to the Castle. Before him marched the hangman, bearing the ghastly instrument which was to be used at the quartering block. The victorious party had not forgotten that, thirty-five years before this time, the father of Argyle had been at the head of the faction which put Montrose to death. Before that event the houses of Graham and Campbell had borne no love to each other; and they had ever since been at deadly feud. Care was taken that the prisoner should pass through the same gate and the same streets through which Montrose had been led to the same doom.* "When the Earl reached the Castle his legs were put in irons, and he was informed that he had but a few days to live. It had been determined not to bring him to trial for his recent offence, but to put him to death under the sentence pronounced against him several years before, a sentence so flagitiously unjust that the most servile and obdurate lawyers of that bad age could not speak of it without shame.
But neither the ignominious procession up the High Street nor the near
* A few words which were in the first five editions have been omitted in this place. Here and in another passage I had, as Mr. Aytonn has observed, mistaken the City Guards which were commanded by an officer named Graham, for the Dragoons of Graham of Claverhouse.
view of death, had power to disturb the gentle and majestic patience of Argyle. His fortitude was tried by a still more severe test. A paper of interrogatories was laid before him by order of the Privy Council. He replied to those questions to which he could reply without danger to any of his friends, and refused to say more. He was told that unless he returned fuller answers he should be put to the torture. James, who was doubtless sorry that he could not feast his own eyes with the sight of Argyle in the boots, sent down to Edinburgh positive orders that nothing should be omitted which could wring out of the traitor information against all who had been concerned in the treason. But menaces were vain. With torments and death in immediate prospect, Mac Callum More thought far less of himself than of his poor clansmen. "I was busy this day," he wrote from his cell, "treating for them, and in some hopes. But this evening orders came that I must die upon Monday or Tuesday; and I am to be put to the torture if I answer not all questions upon oath. Yet I hope God shall support me."
The torture was not inflicted. Perhaps the magnanimity of the victim had moved the conquerors to unwonted compassion. He himself remarked that at first they had been very harsh to him, but that they soon began to treat him with respect and kindness. God, he said, had melted their hearts. It is certain that he did not, to save himself from the utmost cruelty of his enemies, betray any of his friends. On the last morning of his life he wrote these words: "I have named none to their disadvantage. I thank God he hath supported me wonderfully."
He composed his own epitaph, a short poem, full of meaning and spirit, simple and forcible in style, and not contemptible in versification. In this little piece he complained that, though his enemies had repeatedly decreed his death, his friends had been still more crueL A comment on these expressions is to be found in a letter which he addressed to a lady residing in Holland. She had furnished him with a large stun of money for his expedition, and lie thought her entitled to a full explanation of the causes which had led to his failure. He acquitted his coadjutors of treachery, but described their folly, their ignorance, and their factious perverseness, in terms which their own testimony has since proved to have been richly deserved. He afterwards doubted whether he had not used language too severe to become a dying Christian, and, in a separate paper, begged his friend to suppress what he had said of these men. "Only this I must acknowledge," he mildly added; "they were not governable."
Most of his few remaining hours were passed in devotion, and in affectionate intercourse with some members of bis family. He professed no repentance on account of his last enterprise, but bewailed, with great emotion, his former compliance in spiritual things with the pleasure of the government. He had, he said, been justly punished. One who had so long been guilty of cowardice and dissimulation was not worthy to be the instrument of salvation to the State and Church. Yet the cause, he frequently repeated, was the cause of God, and would assuredly triumph. "I do not," he said, "take ou myself to be a prophet. But I have a strong impression on my spirit, that deliverance 'will come very suddenly." It ia not strange that some zealous Presbyterians should have laid up his saying in their hearts, and should, at a later period, have attributed it to dmne inspiration.
So effectually had religious faith and lope, cooperating with natural courage and equanimity, composed his spirits, that, on the very day on which he was to die, he dined with appetite, conversed with gaiety at table, and, after his last meal, lay down, as he was wont, to take a short slumber, in order that his body and mind might be in full vigour when he should mount the scaffold At this time one of the lords of the Council, who had probably been bred a Presbyterian, and had been seduced by interest to join in oppressing the Church of which he had once been a member, came to the
Castle with a message from his brethren, and demanded admittance to the Earl. It was answered that the Earl was asleep. The Privy Councillor thought that this was a subterfuge, and insisted on entering. The door of the cell was softly opened; and there lay Argyle on the bed, sleeping, in his irons, the placid sleep of infancy. The conscience of the renegade smote him. He turned away sick at heart, ran out of the Castle, and took refuge in the dwelling of a lady of his family who lived hard by. There he flung himself on a couch, and gave himself up to an agony of remorse and shame. His kinswoman, alarmed by his looks and groans, thought that he had been taken with sudden illness, and begged him to drink a cup of sack. "No, no," he said; "that will do me no good." She prayed him to tell her what had disturbed him. "I have been," he said, "in Argyle's prison. I have seen him within an hour of eternity, sleeping as sweetly as ever man did. But as for me ."
And now the Earl had risen from his bed, and had prepared himself for what was yet to be endured. He was first brought down the High Street to the Council House, where he was to remain during the short interval which was still to elapse before the execution. During that interval he asked for pen and ink, and wrote to his wife: "Dear heart, God is unchangeable: He hath always been good and gracious to me; and no place alters it. Forgive me all my faults; and now comfort thyself in Him, in whom only true comfort is to be found. The Lord be with thee, bless and comfort thee, my dearest. Adieu."
It was now time to leave the Council House. The divines who at- Hi.eiecutended the prisoner were not 0aaof his own persuasion; but he listened to them with civility, and exhorted them to caution their flocks against those doctrines which all Protestant churches unite in condemning. He mounted the scaffold, where the rude old guillotine of Scotland, called the Maiden, awaited him, and addressed the people in a speech, tinctured with the peculiar phraseology of his sect, but breathing the spirit of serene piety. His enemies, he said, he forgave, as he hoped to be forgiven. Only a single acrimonious expression escaped him. One of the episcopal clergymen who attended him went to the edge of the scaffold, and called out in a loud voice, "My Lord dies* Protestant." "Yes," said the Earl, stepping forward, "and not only a Protestant, but with a heart hatred of Popery, of Prelacy, and of all superstition." He then embraced his friends, put into their hands some tokens of remembrance for his wife and children, kneeled down, laid his head on the block, prayed during a few minutes, and gave the signal to the executioner. His head was fixed on the top of the Tolbooth, where the head of Montrose had formerly decayed.* The head of the brave and sincere, though not blameless Eumbold, of Rum. was already on the West Port bold' of Edinburgh. Surrounded by factious and cowardly associates, he had, through the whole campaign, behaved himself like a soldier trained in the school of the great Protector, had in council strenuously supported the authority of Argyle, and had in the field been distinguished by tranquil intrepidity. After the dispersion of the army he was set upon by a party of militia. He defended himself desperately, and would have cut his way through them, had they not hamstringed his horse. He was brought to Edinburgh mortally wounded. The wish of the government was that he should be executed in England. But he was so near death that, if he was not hanged in Scotland, he could not be hanged at
* The authors from whom I have taken the history of Argylc's expedition are Sir Patrick Hume, who was an eyewitness of what he related, and Wodrow, who had access to materials of the greatest value, among which were the Earl's own papers. Wherever there is a question of veracity between Argyle and Hume, I have no doubt that Argyle's narrative ought to be followed.
See also Burnet, i. 631. and the life of Bresson, published by Dr. Mac Crie. The account of the Scotch rebellion in the Life of James the Second, is a ridiculous romance, not written by the King himself, nor derived from his papers, but composed by a Jacobite who did not even take the trouble to look at a map of the seat of war.
all; and the pleasure of hanging him was one which the conquerors could not bear to forego. It was indeed not to be expected that they would show much lenity to one who was regarded as the chief of the Eye House Plot, and who was the owner of the building from which that plot took its name: but the insolence with which they treated the dying man seems to our more humane age almost incredible. One of the Scotch Privy Councillors told him that he was a confounded villain. "I am at peace with God," answered Eumbold, calmly; "how then can I be confounded?"
He was hastily tried, convicted, and sentenced to be hanged and quartered within a few hours, near the City Cross in the High Street. Though unable to stand without the support of two men, he maintained his fortitude to the last, and under the gibbet raised his feeble voice against Popery and tyranny with such vehemence that the officers ordered the drums to strike up, lest the people should hear him. He was a friend, he said, to limited monarchy. But he never would believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden. "I desire," he cried, "to bless and magnify God's holy name for this, that I stand here, not for any wrong that I have done, but for adhering to his cause in an evil day. If every hair of my head were a man, in this quarrel I would venture them all."
Both at his trial and at his execution he spoke of assassination with the abhorrence which became a good Christian and a brave soldier. He had never, he protested, on the faith of a dying man, harboured the thought of committing such villany. But he frankly owned that, in conversation with his fellow conspirators, he had mentioned his own house as a place where Charles and James might with advantage be attacked, and that much had been said on the subject, though nothing had been determined. It may at first sight seem that this acknowledgment is inconsistent with his declaration that he had always regarded assassination with horror. But the truth appears to bo
that he was imposed upon by a distinction which deluded many of his eontemporaries. Nothing would have induced him to put poison into the food of the two princes, or to poniard them in their sleep. But to make an unexpected onset on the troop of Life Guards which surrounded the royal coach, to exchange sword cuts and pistol shots, and to take the chance of slaying or of being slain, was, in his view, a lawful military operation. Ambuscades and surprises were among the ordinary incidents of war. Every old soldier, Cavalier or Soundhead, had been engaged in such enterprises. If in the skirmish the King should fall, he would fall by fair fighting and not by murder. Precisely the same reasoning was employed, after the Eevolution, by James himself and by some of his most devoted followers, to justify a wicked attempt on the life of William the Third. A band of Jacobites was commissioned to attack the Prince of Orange in his winter quarters. The meaning latent under this specious phrase was that the Prince's throat was to be cut as he went in his coach from Eichmond to Kensington. It may seem strange that such fallacies, the dregs of the Jesuitical casuistry, should have had power to seduce men of heroic spirit, both Whigs and Tories, into a crime on which divine and human laws have justly set a peculiar note of infamy. But no sophism is too gross to delude minds distempered by party spirit.*
Argyle, who survived Eumbold a few hours, left a dying testimony to the
• Wodrow, HI. ix. 10. ; Western Martyrflogy; Burnet, i. 633.; Fox's History, Appendix iv. I can find no way, except that -dicated in the text, of reconciling Rumbold's denial that he had ever admitted into his mind the thought of assassination with his con'-;:on that he had himself mentioned his own ham as a convenient place for an attack on the royal brothers. The distinction which I appose him to have taken was certainly taken 'y another Rye House conspirator, who was, liie him, an old soldier of the Commonwealth, Captain Walcot. On Walcot's trial, West, the witness for the crown, said, "Captain, you lil agree to be one of those that were to fight the Guards." "What, then, was the reason," a«kad Chief Justice Pemberton, "that he *'aid not kill the King?" "HeBaid,"an■wend West, " that it was a base thing to kill a i^ked man, and he would not do it."
virtues of the gallant Englishman. "Poor Eumbold was a great support to me, and a brave man, and died Christianly."*
Ayloffe showed as much contempt of death as either Argyle or Bum- p^,, of bold: but his end did not, like Ajioffc theirs, edify pious minds. Though political sympathy had drawn him towards the Puritans, he had no religious sympathy with them, and was indeed regarded by them as little better than an atheist. He belonged to that section of the Whigs which sought for models rather among the patriots of Greece and Borne than among the prophets and judges of Israel.. He was taken prisoner, and carried to Glasgow. There he attempted to destroy himself with a small penknife: but though he gave himself several wounds, none of them proved mortal, and he had strength enough left to bear a journey to London. He was brought before the Privy Council, and interrogated by the King, but had too much elevation of mind to save himself by informing against others. A story was current among the Whigs that the King said, "You had better be frank with me, Mr. Ayloffe. You know that it is in my power to pardon you." Then, it was rumoured, the captive broke his sullen silence, aDd answered, "It may be in your power; but it is not in your nature." He was executed under his old outlawry before the gate of the Temple, and died with stoical composure.t
In the meantime the vengeance of the conquerors was mercilessly i>Cr».ia wreaked on the people of Ar- ""JjjlJ. gyleshire. Many of the Camp- ,bir«bells were hanged by Athol without a trial; and he was with difficulty restrained by the Privy Council from taking more lives. The country to the extent of thirty miles round Inverary was wasted. Houses were burned: the stones of mills were broken to pieces: fruit trees were cut down, and the very roots seared with fire. The nets and fishing boats, the sole means by which
• Wodrow, III. ix. 9.
t Wade's Narrative, Harl. MS. 6845.; Burnet, i. 634.; Van Citters's Despatch of NoT °a1685; Luttrell's Diary of the same date.