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King hath said to D. Q. that he will very shortly end all Scots affairs, bot if you be here any tim in November yow will not com after the mercat. I need not tell you how your enimys insult on the apprehensions that the hylanders will say the sham articles wer trew and therfor I am sur yow will all thats possible to confutt thes mutters and lett me hear the meathods you think best to reduce Glengary and what assistance you are sure of and what of the forces you will need.'
Linlithgow writes on the 5th November:
'I can add little to my last, knowing how fully the Secretary wrote to you by the last post. The D. of Queensbury has spoke to the K., and finds him in his just sentiments as he could wish. I am to speak to him to-morrow. So that these here who have been against the settling a Government with us see now that they will get it delayed no longer. Only they beg that the K. may delay the doing of it until he see what effect your treaty with the Highlanders produces, and it is too probable that will be granted to them, and your Lordship knows well what inconveniences there are in delays. I acknowledge that it is little to be wondered at to see the Highlanders shift and delay coming in, considering the encouragement they have got to stand it out. But I always thought that these shams would not have taken the wise men, such as Lochiel, and if he began once, I would little doubt of most of the others following him; and I wish some of the most obstinate of them would stand it out, that they might be made examples of!'
Stair, on the 10th Nember:
'The resolutions must shortly be taken whether the King carries any troops out of Scotland next year. If once that miserable resolution of our kingdom be taken to hold all there, then there will be little thanks for a pitiful necessary submission. In that view I believe you will have orders to hold your hands, and we must try another course. I am grieved that your last says it will be a fortnight before you can give any judgment of your success.'
Queensbury, on the 19th November, says to Lord Breadalbane, after pressing him to come up to London, 'I have had the honour to speak at length with both their Majesties, who 'I'm sure design well in the concern of that unhappy king'dom; so what uneasiness we lay under is not ascribable to him, whereof I am sure I'm able to convince you at meeting. E. Linlithgow has done me the favour to show me all your letters, by which I find you have a just notion of all cur 'business.'
Linlithgow again, on the 10th November:
The Secretary told me this morning that he had heard from you by the last post, that you still found difficulty in dealing with the clans, particularly the Macdonalds. I can write nothing new to you
on the subject, nor need I press you to end soon with these who will be wise and understand their interest, for you know sufficiently that the frank and ready submission is what will recommend both the undertakers and doers, and such as will stand out should be made declare themselves, and they will do no harm to nobody but themselves. It is now the only defence our high-flown boys have against the settling of the Government that the highlands are not, and will not, be got settled. However, all pains is taken to persuade the King to pass that by, and fix a sound and reasonable Government, which will soon clear the scruples of your people, and I am not without hopes that it will succeed. In the meantime they will be obliged to renounce all the pretensions of Presbytery that have been hard upon the King upon the subject, and this day it has been told them, but a good account of your affair would soon end all?
Stair, on the 22nd November, writes the following very curious, crafty, and characteristic epistle.
After referring to some other matters, he proceeds as
'I confess I told my Lord P.*, among other observations and threatenings, what a message you had gone, and your return. That after Tullymet Glengarry did go back of what he had given you under his hand. "What?" said P., "hath he anything under Glen"garry's hand?" "Yes, and from all those mentioned in his favour." "Good God," said P., "just now they did assure me what you had "done was only to recommend yourself and to be master of the money, "but that you had neither interest with them nor warrant from them." I said I had seen it signed severally by alt their hands, and that you were not so rash as to have signed a representation in the name of the King, of their submissions if you had not had their warrant. Indeed, say I, perhaps in the treaty with rude people in arms, perhaps my Lord B. had not used the term, submission to them, but had treated as on equal grounds; but they have agreed to lay down arms upon his procuring them their desires, which are not mentioned, but trusted to him. He could not have proposed such things as satisfactory without knowing they did satisfy. I told his Lordship if he pleased to be again deceived with such lies he might, but if he pleased I would prove by Nottingham, Caermarthen, and, if it were proper, by her Majesty, who had all seen the Commissions to the Clans. By all this story that you may believe how seasonably your letter came, for otherwise that project had been looked on as lost, and orders given for another method with Glengarry. I confess I was as sorry for the last as anybody, for his folly was like to have kept all the forces there, and to have laid the best part of the great scheme to an after day.'
The two next letters from Stair are printed by Dalrymple.
* Probably Crawfurd, who was Lord President of the Council in Scotland.
VOL. CV. NO. CCXIII.
'I doubt not Glengary house will be a better mid garison betwixt Inverness and Inverlochy than ever he will (be) a good subject to this government. I am glad it hath not failled on the King's sid for all his success; but I shall advyse your Lordship to keep up the remissions, and stand as stif as they pleas (thou in this I have no peremptor commands from the King); bot I am satisfyed that clan deserves no favor, and that having used you so, and slighted the grace offered, they ar an easy and a proper object of his Majesty's severity and justice.'
The second Dalrymple does not give in full. follows:
It is as
'London, Dec. 3. 1691.
'MY LORD, The last post brought Tarbat letters from Glengary or from his Lady, and Rorry upon a message Glengary had sent to him to Edinb. This hath furnished him with opportunity to discours the King in all thes matters. He tells me he hath vindicat you, only the shair that the McDonalds gett is too little and unequall to your good cusens (really that's trew) and he wold hav the mony gevin to Glengary, and leav Argyll and him to deall for the plea. He thought his shair had only been 1000 lbs sterl. I have satisfyed the King in thes points that his shair is 1500 lbs sterl., and that he nor non of them can get the money if Argyl consent, for that destroys all thats good in the settlement, to take away grounds of hereditary feuds. To be brief, I'le assur you that I shall never consent any bodys medling, shall be so much regarded as to gett any of the tearms altered. By the next I expect to hear either thes people are com to your hand, or els your scheem for mauling them; for it will not delay. Ane the next week the officers will be dispached from this with instructions to garison Invergary, and Buchans regiment will join Levens, which will be force enough. They will have petards and some cannon. I am not changed as to the expediency of doing things by the easyest means and at leasur, bot the madnes of this people, and ther ungratfulness to you, maks me plainly see thers no reckoning on them, bot delenda est Carthago. Yet who hav
accepted and do take the oaths will be saif, bot deserv no kindness, and even in that case ther must be hostages of ther neerest relations, for ther's no regarding mens words whom ther interest cannot oblige. Menzys, Glengary, and all of them has written letters and takin pains to make it believed, that all you did was for the interest of K. James, therfor look on, and you shall be satisfyed of your reveng.
'My dear La adeiu.
'Becaus Ibreath nothing bot destruction to Glengary, Tarba thinks that Kippock will be a mor proper example of severity, bot he hath not a house so proper for a garison, and he hath not bein so forward to ruin himself and all the rest. Bot I confess boths best to be ruined.
These letters certainly throw considerable light on the views and objects of the politicians, and the course of their trans
actions. Stair's letters were evidently meant to impress Breadalbane with the double conviction that he himself was narrowly watched, and that measures of great severity were impending. Stair's ulterior object throughout was to set the army in the Highlands free, while that of Breadalbane was to make the credit of the settlement as great as he could. How much of Stair's letters was intended for Breadalbane's use with the clans it is now difficult to say, although they breathe so much vengeance and slaughter, that one is tempted to suspect they were intended for Glengarry and Keppock's eye. It is plain enough, however, that the Government were desirous of an opportunity to strike a blow which should be remembered; that Breadalbane, and his negotiation, and its probable result, were talked over from week to week in the highest quarters; and, above all, that King William, so far from being indifferent to the affairs of Scotland, was cognisant of all that passed, that he discussed the whole affair with Stair, with Queensbury, with Tarbat, with Linlithgow, and with Craufurd, at each turn of events; that the Queen herself had taken part in the deliberations, and that the King was thoroughly acquainted with the intended course of his Minister. The Glencoe people are not once mentioned in the whole correspondence; but the interest attached to this sanguinary transaction lies in the policy
craft which dictated it, not in the individual character of the victims. Mac Ian of Glencoe fell into the toils spread for Keppock and Glengarry.
Breadalbane came to London at Christmas 1691. Glengarry and all the rest came in during that month. Mac Ian was the only defaulter; and on his head fell the terror which had been prepared for the rest. Of his attempt to take the oaths William probably knew nothing; of the base treachery of the catastrophe itself he is guiltless; but that he knew what his advisers meant by extirpating a clan, when he put that unrestricted warrant into their hands, the preceding contemporaneous evidence leaves us no room to doubt.
Killiecrankie and Glencoe concluded William's military difficulties in Scotland; and the settlement of the constitutional and ecclesiastical questions in that country, which immediately followed, completed the second branch of his labours, and left his mind and his troops comparatively free for the last, and to him by far the greatest and most important object of his life.
For it was, in truth, the one paramount desire which induced him to live in glorious but irksome exile among people with whom he had no sympathy, whose intrigues wearied, and whose ingratitude disgusted him, to become the centre of party squabbles and factious contendings, which he understood with
out regarding, while all the time his mind was 'in far forgetfulness away.' To break the power of France, to curb her growing domination, by rousing Europe to a sense of her designs, and to the spirit to resist them, was the cause in which his heart was almost wholly engaged. For this he toiled, thought, persisted, and endured. On this battlefield he was a new man. When he touched the ground of European politics he became a giant in strength. His apathy, his depression, his phlegmatic silence vanished. The enthusiasm which was frozen among the islanders warmed and expanded under the influence of that cause of liberty for which his progenitors had struggled so nobly.
Indeed, when we read, in Mr. Macaulay's glowing pages, the transformation which seemed to come over the man when he again set foot in Holland, how his spirits rose, his fancy brightened, and the perpetual cloud rolled off beneath the sunshine of the scenes and tones of his native land, we come to appreciate the greatness of the sacrifice he made, and the fidelity with which he discharged his stewardship. To have watched and worked for the political regeneration of our country with such a chill on his heart a chill that drove smiles from his countenance and cheerfulness from his home, argues a constancy and tenacity of purpose, an energy in spite of fate, which is the rare gift of those who benefit mankind.
We cannot attempt to follow our historian into the details of the campaigns which ended in the peace of Ryswick. War in those days was a slower game than it has since become. amount of generalship displayed by William was certainly much inferior to his vigour in diplomacy, or his courage in reverses. One of his weaknesses was an overweening confidence in his military capacity; and this led him to resent, unconsciously perhaps, the presence of superior abilities in another. For this he slighted Schomberg, discouraged Mackay, and perhaps we do no great injustice in adding, for this among many better reasons he hated Marlborough.
The march and countermarch of the rival armies in Flanders is not the most graphic part of these volumes. They, or the narrative, move too slowly. They come back, after a year, or a volume, to the place from which they set out. One engineer defends and another takes Namur the first year. They change places next year, and Namur is taken again: Boileau sings Pæans over the first siege, and Prior travesties them on the second: until at length, the patience and resources of the combatants being exhausted, the peace of Ryswick seems to leave things exactly where they were.
We should be wrong, however, were we to conclude that these