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either gone, or preparing to go to the west; and I have the same report of poor Kilbokie, but I don't believe it. However, if I be able to ride in my chariot the length of Inverness, I am resolved to go to Stratherrick next week, and endeavour to keep my people in order. I forgot to tell you, that the man yesterday assured me, that they were resolved to destroy and burn all the countries where the men would not join them, with fire and sword, which truly frights me much, and has made me think of the best expedient I could imagine to preserve my people.
“ As I know that the laird of Lochiel has always a very affectionate friendship for me as his relation, and a man that did him singular services, and as he is perfectly well acquainted with Gortuleg, I endeavoured all I could to persuade Tam to go there, and that he should endeavour in my name to engage Lochiel to protect my country, in which I think I would succeed; but I cannot persuade Gortuleg to go; he is so nice with his point of honour, that he thinks his going would bring upon him the character of a spy, and that he swears he would not have for the creation. I used all the arguments that I was capable of, and told him plainly, that it was the greatest service he could do to me and to my country, as I knew he could bring me a full account of their situation, and that is the only effectual mean that I can think of to keep the Stratherrick men, and the rest of my people, at home: and I am persuaded that Lochiel would use all the interest he has to preserve my country. He told me at last he would take some days to consider of it, until he comes out of Stratherrick; but I am afraid that will be too late. I own I was not well pleased with him, and we parted in cooler manner than we used to do. Since writing what is above, I have got three or four Gazettes from good hands from the west. They assure me that the Highland army, and their pretended prince, were last night at Laggan Auchadroum, and that they will march this day to Aberchalder. Your friend, the old Chisholm, told this to Culcairn, this day as he was coming to dine with me, and I had it from others. What turn they will take afterwards is what is not yet made public, but some think they will march over Corryarrak, which I wish with all my heart they may do, that we might be fairly rid of them. Others say that they will come down through Stratherrick, and
destroy it if they don't rise; and others, through Urquhart, to go to Ross: and it's my opinion, they don't yet know themselves what to do, or what they are doing. Do not think, my dear lord, that I am glad when I tell you, that some of your favourites, the Mackenzies, are gone to join the pretended prince. I spoke to two men that saw them pass by yesterday at the head of my country, and spoke to them; and your favourite, that spoke to Culcairn this day, will send his men to join them, whether he go himself or not. You may depend on it, that Glenmoriston and the Urquhart people will likewise join in a day or two, so that my people are the only left in the lurch; but I am very easy, for I have your lordship’s word, that neither I nor my people will lose any thing, but that government will make up our loss effectually. I will send an express to-morrow morning to Gortuleg, and entreat of him, as he loves me, if he sees these mad people coming to go and meet them, and expostulate with the laird of Lochiel not to hurt my country, but to preserve it from being destroyed, otherwise that he may assure himself that I will make reprisals, though I honour much the lady Lochiel, and that she is my cousin-german. I know Gortuleg has a vast regard for your opinion in any thing, I therefore humbly beg, my dear lord, that you may write him two lines enclosed to me, and desire him to go and meet Lochiel, and endeavour to persuade him to preserve my country, and I truly think it will have a good effect every way. I shall eternally remain, with zeal and esteem, my dear lord, your lordship’s most attached cousin, and faithful slave, &c. &c.
“ P. S. I am glad now to assure your lordship that honest Kilbokie has not stirred, and will do nothing without my consent, and I hope it's the same thing with the Stratherrick men. I can now assure your lordship, by people from that country, that none of my people of Stratherrick or Abertarf are stirred -this gives me great joy, and I have just now got a letter from Sandy Culduthel's brother confirming all that I have said, and that the Highland army were last at Mockomire, and only this night to be at Laggan Auchadroum--that they were yesterday three thousand strong. He assures me that no men out of Appin, Glenco, Stralachan, Glengary, Knodart, or Glenmoriston, had yet joined them. My dear lord, you know that you engaged
to me in honour never to give me as author for any intelligence or information that I give you, and I am persuaded that you will keep your word; for if you do not, the next thing you must do is to cut my throat, for of all things in the world I hate to be called an informer. I beg you may excuse the errors and blunders of this letter, for I never was in a worse state of health than since I began to write it.” *
That the lord president was imposed upon with this tissue of falsehood and fustian, it would be the height of absurdity to suppose; but, sensible of the great importance of retaining Lovat at least in a state of neutrality, till some favourable event on the side of the government should fix his wavering policy, he answers him in the most polite and manly manner, giving him that friendly advice which he seems to have stood in need of, and correcting his mistakes, without staying to tell him that he had made them : “ My dear lord, this moment I have received yours of last night's date. I am very glad to hear that your mind is easy on the subject of Foyer and Kilbokie. I always thought that the affection of your people would preserve them from 'folly, especially when your interest so essentially requires prudence in them. Your directions to Gortuleg were very right, and I am surprised he boggles at them, since the execution of them is in my opinion consistent with the strictest honour. A letter from me, advising what you directed, might, your lordship will upon reflection see, be improper; but it is farther surely unnecessary, because I at Inverness, and at Culloden, delivered him, by word of mouth, the same opinion in the strongest terms, and I hope he will pursue it. I have no notice that Lochiel, or any of the gentlemen who know this country, will think it advisable to exasperate men, who, being pushed too far, must' in self-defence prove the instruments of their ruin. Suppose they should force individuals of a kindred to go alongst with them against the interest and inclinations of their chiefs, must not they depend on it that those will take the first opportunity to ļeave them. They cannot, at least they ought not to forget the desertion of your people from Perth in the year 1715, and therefore I imagine they must desist from
• Culloden Papers, pp. 211, 212.
such barbarous policy. But if they should injudiciously do otherwise, I see nothing your people have to do, but that the gentlemen should get the cleverest young fellows together, in the best trim they can, keep together, and avoid them if they are too many, and reserve themselves for your further service; trusting, that if, on no resentment, any damage shall be done, it will be made good by the government, in whose service it was sustained. Should the gentlemen who are now in arms know this to be your disposition, I imagine they would think twice before they provoked you, for they must conclude, that the least horse play on their part would naturally dissolve any expectations which they might idly have entertained concerning the conduct of some of their friends, and force them, with a vengeance, into the other side. What you have heard concerning the kinsmen of those whom you call my favourites, may possibly be the case, but if it is so, they lie impudently, and must soon feel the bad effects of it; but I incline to think at present you have been misinformed. I have considered your answer to the advocate's letter, which is a very good one. As to what you have the goodness to communicate 'to me, rely on it, it is dead and buried, and shall never rise again, unless it may rise at a proper time to do you service. I rely upon hearing from you daily. I am most certainly yours," &c. &c. *
Advices having reached the lord president at Culloden, that Sir John Cope was upon his march to the north, he lost not a moment in transmitting the intelligence to all and sundry of his neighbours, and especially to those of whose fidelity to the government he stood most in doubt. The following notice he transmitted to lord Lovat, by an express, on the night of the twenty-sixth, the very night that Charles was preparing to intercept the king's troops in the defiles of the Corryarrak :-“ My lord,—This afternoon I had an express from Sir John Cope, from Trinifuir, where he lay on the twenty-fourth, with his army encamped. He was to set out the next morning, to find out the unhappy gentlemen who are in arms, with a force, which, if they are wise, they will not think fit to look in the face. What you have to do on this occasion, according to my
* Culloden Papers, p. 213.
apprehension, is to give directions that all your people be in readiness, with the best accoutrements they are masters of, to conform to such directions, as when he arrives, he, with the advice of the king's friends in this country, will give. I should think it impossible that your zeal upon this occasion should not be of service to yourself and to your family. I need say no more to one, to whom I have lately said so much, on this subject. Let me hear from you as soon as possible, I am,” &c. *
This was an announcement of the most painful kind to Lovat, who had not had time for the necessary preparations, nor had any thing particularly promising occurred to determine him in a choice, which was to be made upon the whole from motives of interest rather than affection. He of course adopted his usual shifts, flattery, evasion, and gasconading :-"My dear lord,” says he, “ I was so very bad yesterday, and last night, that I did not expect to see the light of this day, so that it was this morning before I had the honour of your letter put into my hand, and I am glad to find, that though I be tormented to death with boils on my body, which makes me feverish, and most uneasy, yet that your lordship is in perfect health, which I wish the continuance of, as should all those that love their country do, being more useful and valuable to the commonwealth than a thousand like mine.
6 Since Sir John Cope bas such a powerful army, I hope our desperate countrymen will avoid to see him; but if they are so mad as to fight, that unfortunate prince must fall, with the bravest of his adherents, most foolishly. I own I must regret my dear cousin Lochiel, who, contrary to his promise to me, engaged in this mad enterprise. But if Sir John Cope is beat, which I think next to impossible, this desperate prince will be the occasion of much bloodshed, which I pray God may avert; for to have bloodshed in our own bowels, is a horrible thing to any man that loves Scotland, or has a good stake in it, as your lordship and I have. Therefore, I pray God that we may not have a civil war in Scotland; this has been my constant wish ever since I had the use of my reason, and it shall be
* Culloden Papers, p. 214.