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Montrose what Mr Munro has in order that he might wed achieved in the case of Argyll. Annot Lyle. Into a firm and Here, for the first time in fic- accurate framework of history tion, have Montrose and Argyll Mr Cobban has worked his been confronted with each other romance, and the result is an -a big undertaking, but accom- admirable picture of Scotland plished with success. The story and her most famous sons durcovers a period of twelve years, ing that seething period of from 1629 to 1641, and con discontent and bigotry which sequently does not touch upon heralded the civil war. Monthose events in the lives of trose is the hero, in all the Montrose and Argyll which vigour of his splendid youth. have most largely contributed You are introduced to him at to render them famous in his- the age of seventeen on his way tory. The Covenant is the to visit Jameson, the Scottish theme; and to right and left Vandyck, and have his portrait of it stand these two, at first painted—the portrait that shows in apparent amity, which in even at that early age all the due time gives place to un- sweetness and strength that concealed hatred. In order were as noticeable in the great that the reader might clearly Marquis of Montrose as in the understand the true purport boy James Grahame. of the Covenant, that remark The opening chapters of the able event in Scottish history, tale introduce to each other, to and the different attitudes their ultimate sorrow, Montrose adopted towards it by Mon- and Alec Burnet, and Mistress trose and Argyll, it was neces- Magdalen Keith — afterwards sary that the condition of Scot- the Angel of the Covenant, but land at that period should be then little more than a child. adequately set forth. It is the Maudlin is a frank, daring, background of the romance, beautiful child, worshipful of and the danger was that the heroes, and even then unconauthor should give it undue sciously challenging them to prominence. Mr Cobban has love: she grows into a brilsteered clear of this pitfall, liant, unhappy woman, whose into which so many conscien- heart must have broken but tious historical romancists have for her beauty and her pride. fallen to their own hurt. The Montrose in these early scenes story and the history are so bears himself with all the diginterwoven that you are never nity and affability which seemed impressed with the difference to come naturally to one who, Nor does the author take any as a boy, believed himself born violent liberties with history, in to do great deeds. But it is order that the gentle reader not until Argyll comes on the may not be unduly perturbed scene that he shows himself in in spirit, as did Sir Walter, for his real strength. Ten years example, when he made young older than Montrose, he is a much Kilpont recover from the fatal abler diplomatist than the young blow dealt him by Allan M'Aulay, Earl, and in these first months
of their intimacy gives you al- climax is reached and sustained. most the impression of having Although Argyll is foiled, he helps Montrose to know him- to shield Mr Cobban from the
Ho finer brain of the two. Argyll covers his retreat so skilfully as self, to realise himself and his charge of injustice.
There is own gifts of mind and body. only one
where King No sooner is that accomplished Campbell completely gives himthan he takes the first place, self away, and then he is not and Argyll falls into the second. confronted with Montrose, but The greatness of his fate seems with the Angel of the Coveonly to dawn upon Montrose nant. This is where Argyll is when he is confronted with the caught in a trap, and is in imman who, beginning as his rival, minent danger of his life if he soon became his foe, and
was in refuses to purchase it by signthe end his murderer. There is ing the release of Montrose from humour in the scene in which prison. The passionate
anger Argyll first figures. His crafti- of Maudlin at Argyll's taunt, ness, no less than the power of the terror and rage of Argyll, the man, is admirably presented. the resentment of a quick-wit He has the most perfect control in thrall to brute force, it is of himself, and there is a patient all very natural. But somehow watchfulness in his manner that it leaves a doubt in the mind holds your attention. Admirers whether the constitutional timof Argyle, and even those who idity of Argyll would degenerinsist that there are good
are good ate into such abject terror at qualities in all men, will not the touch of the cold muzzle of admit that Mr Cobban has done a pistol, which his quick brain Gillespie Gruamach justice. Cer- might have told him would tainly, if he had any kindly discharge no
bullet his virtues in his disposition as to head. which there is undoubtedly some Montrose triumphs over Arscepticism—they are sternly re- gyll by force of character, not pressed in Mr Cobban’s por- by superior wit. It seems to trayal of him. And yet he is have been Mr Cobban's intennot described as altogether mean, tion to vindicate his hero, not cowardly, and treacherous. Un- at the expense of any one else, til he discloses his settled enmity but simply by the presentation to Montrose, he is cheerful and of his transparent honesty and even winning, a soother of
As the story prostrife. And although, of course, gresses and the real issue opens all this but serves to convince out to him, Montrose takes on you of his guile, yet it wins a sterner mood. You meet him your admiration. The contest
as a boy; you take leave of him a between Montrose and Argyll, man fully equipped for the splenthough not apparent at first, did achievements which were to becomes gradually inevitable; make his name illustrious. He and when at last they face is every inch a hero, without a each other with nothing to veil shadow of abatement; and they the issue between them, the say that no man is altogether
The portrait is without and “The Angel of the Covendoubt idealised; but you are ant' should have appeared in convinced of its essential truth. the same year, the one with The charm of his manner; his Argyll as the great historical gaiety and wit; the proud val- figure, the other with Monour of his heart,—you are con trose. Sir Walter, with his fronted with them. Thus the large impartiality and supreme artist is justified, though the indifference, presents both men historian may be convicted of in a somewhat casual manner prejudice. Montrose's relations to his readers. His heart was with Magdalen Keith is a deli- with Dalgetty, and where his cate subject, and Mr Cobban heart was, there his genius was has handled it with tact. This sure to be brightest. But his young creature, so beautiful, swift sketches of Montrose and daring, and witty, loves Mon- Argyll catch with unerring introse with a passionate intensity stinct those tricks of expresthat could have but one result sion and traits of character unless you have implicit con which have become traditional. fidence in the honour of the What a source of tradition was hero. That of course you take this great magician! We talk for granted; and so Maudlin, of the romance of Scottish hiswith her exquisite beauty and tory as though it existed of aching heart, becomes more and itself, and was not the offspring more tragic as the tale draws of his genius, whose creative to an end. With nothing to power, imaginative force, and aid her but the truth, the truth buoyant humour cannot be that would be shameful but for equalled outside the works of her great love and her pride in Shakespeare. No one but Mr it, she defies the world and is Crockett, we think, would dare victorious. But she passes be- to make a story of the Covfore you as one who is wounded enanters whom Claverhouse to death, and yet will put a hunted about the hills. Old brave face on it, because it is Mortality' commands a pass better to be proud and brave that none can force. But Scott than abject and tearful. The left Montrose and Argyll to Lady Balgownie, her mother, is those who should come after a stout -hearted, merry dame, him. Mr Cobban deals with an with a good supply of whole- earlier period than that covered
Scots humour and a by 'A Legend of Montrose.' shrewd wit: the same type of But Mr Monro, daring much,
as her daughter, but but with brilliant success, selects better balanced and with the same year and covers the larger share of common-sense. same ground that beheld DalBut the difference is sufficient getty. He knows these West to fit the one for comedy, the Highland hills and dales with other for tragedy, in the play of a lover's intimacy.
a lover's intimacy. The Scotlife.
tish Highlands and the men It was surely a happy coin- who live there have at last cidence that John Splendid' found their artist,
If Montrose receives but scant while Montrose has only two. courtesy in the pages of ‘John Which of the three Gillespie Splendid,' you have the record Gruamach would prefer is a deliof “The Miraculous Journey cate question to decide. for compensation. It is a happy Munro describes him, as it were, phrase, “The Miraculous Jour- in undress, and it is the most ney," and it will live with the human portrait of Argyll that chapter that describes it so long has yet been done. Mr Cobban
men love to read of great presents him to you as the crafty deeds and heroic endurance politician; and Sir Walter as The cold and the darkness; the the great noble. Mr Cobban hunger, the weariness, and the dwells so insistently on his pain ; the impassable mountains cowardice, that the tribute, to be overcome, the icy rivers to handsome and unhesitating as be forded with limbs that shrink it is, to Argyll's intellect would from the ordeal, the whole scarce conciliate him to the likejourney passes before you, and You begin to think that grips you like a nightmare. perhaps Sir Walter's portrait And although young Elrigmore would be the least unpleasant will have it that Alasdair Mac- to the victim, until you rememDonald was the moving spirit ber the terrible indignity put of that triumphant progress, upon him by the redoubtable you have only to remember that Dalgetty in the cell in InverMontrose was there, and where ary Castle. After all, it is Mr the king is, there can be no Munro who has painted the second. If Argyll has to bear portrait of Argyll which is fairthe burden of a somewhat un est to the man. As for Monenviable reputation in history, trose, Mr Cobban's portrait of in fiction he has attracted more him is the beginning of that notice than Montrose. Argyll rehabilitation in fiction which has been presented with three has long since been finished in full-length portraits of himself, history.
THE CARLISTS : THEIR CASE, THEIR CAUSE,
ABOUT the end of last year- of the monastery of Poblet near i.e., of 1897—the writer of these Tarragona—the old burial-place words asked a priest of the very of the Kings of Aragon, a vast clerical town of Vich, in the hill- combination of religious house, country of Catalonia, whether a palace, and fortress, which may revival of the Carlist cause was well have given Philip II., who not to be expected in the troubles once visited it, the idea of the of Spain. The answer was an
Escorial. He was an old man, emphatic and even derisive ne whose memory went back to gative. Carlistas, Señor," the thirties, when the abbot of said he; “no, indeed, all that Poblet was still a prince, and is ancient history—ha pasado á when 700 Cistercian monks, la historia—we suffered toomuch lay - brothers, foresters, huntsfrom the last war, and will not men, and workmen lived within go out again. We are too tired the walls. He had seen the of everything.” The priest may country - people break in and have said what he really thought, burn the title-deeds, and could or may have exercised a strict remember how “Liberal” rabeconomy of truth, holding it ble from Tarragona followed better only to say what was soon after, tore the embalmed safe. Yet the truth of his an- body of James the Conqueror swer was “probal to thinking,” from his tomb, and propped it and his judgment was largely up at the door with a musket in harmony with that of men of in its arms. They played skittles very different types. Lawyers in the cloister with the bones and men of business also re and skulls of the princes of the fused to believe in a Carlist house of Aragon. This, and the rising as an immediate serious vengeance for this, were vivid danger. It was not that they in the old man's mind, and he thought the thing quite impos- answered one's light inquiry sible, but only most improbable, whether the Carlists might not unless a certain antecedent con come again by drawing himself dition were first supplied. The together, with a look of susreappearance of the Carlist picion and fear, and the words, bands, in their opinion, was a “I hope not, Señor; I have disaster which would follow seen them three times, and trust others, but not come spontane- not to see them again in the days ously of itself. Still, to some of my life.” Yet even to him minds, the supposition that the a recrudescence of the Carlist old cry of Dios, Patria, y Rey— cause was a misfortune rather God, Country, and King-might to be dreaded than expected. be heard once more, was serious. Catalonia was a great headThe question asked of the priest quarters of the party, and if it in Vich was put to the curator does not move, little can be