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wounded, but continued his command till loss of blood brought him to the ground. In this situation, while leaning on the shoulder of a young officer who stooped for the purpose of supporting him, a cry arose, “ They run! They run!” run ?” asked the expiring hero. « The enemy." “What, the cowards fly already! then I die content.”
The glories of the victory and the acquisition of Canada scarcely compensated in the hearts of his countrymen for the loss of the noble Wolfe. Monuments were erected to his memory, but the most enduring of all is West's great picture of the scene of his death, which is familiar to us in Woollett's beautiful engraving. An anecdote connected with his last achievement has only lately been made public, which shows the refinement of his mind. While floating, in the dark, down the river to surprise the heights of Abraham, he repeated, in a whisper to the officers in the boat, a large portion of Gray's * Elegy in a Country Churchyard,' then recently published, and ended by saying, “Gentlemen, I would rather be the author of that poem, than have all the glory I feel sure of to-morrow." We can imagine the stanza on which, with the presentiment of genius, he dwelt the most :“The boast of heraldry, the pomp
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.” The fall of Quebec was followed in a few months by that of Montreal, and now the whole of the Canadas was a possession of the British forces. In Hindostan similar successes attended our efforts, and French influence was greatly reduced by our conquest of the territory of Arcot.— White's 'Landmarks of the History of England.'
THE YOUNG PRETENDER, PRESTON-PANS, AND CULLODEN
MOOR. (GEORGE II.)
THIRTY years had elapsed since the Chevalier de St. George had stirred up that rebellion which ended so fatally for his own hopes, and so disastrously for his adherents. Since that time he had lived in Italy, had married a grand-daughter of John Sobieski, king of Poland, and had one son, Charles Edward, who was afterwards known in England as the “ Young Pretender.” While George II. and his ministers were fully occupied in endeavouring to bring the war in Germany to a successful issue, Charles Edward received every encouragement from Louis of France to take advantage of that opportunity, and try his strength in Britain. And now that the national discontent was gaining ground in consequence of the loss at Fontenoy, and other events not much less disastrous, he determined to attempt the restoration of his family, and accompanied only by a small party of his most devoted friends, he landed in the Hebrides. Here he was soon joined by the Highland chieftains, and speedily found himself at the head of several thousand hardy mountaineers, who were highly pleased with his affable manners, and with genuine enthusiasm expressed themselves ready to die in his service. Their first movement was towards Edinburgh, which city surrendered without resistance, but the castle still held out. The Young Pretender now took possession of Holyrood Palace, where he proclaimed his father king of Great Britain, and himself regent, with all the idle pageantries of state. Meanwhile a proclamation was issued, offering a reward of 30,000l. for his apprehension.
Sir John Cope, the commander of the king's troops in Scotland, having collected some reinforcements in the north, proceeded from Aberdeen to Dunbar by sea, and hearing that the insurgents were resolved to hazard a battle, he encamped at Preston Pans. Here he was unexpectedly attacked, and with such vigorous onslaught, by the fierce and undisciplined Highlanders, that a sudden panic seized the royal troops, and in their flight they abandoned all their baggage, cannon, and camp equipage, to their enemies. Elated with success, the rebels entered England, and proceeded as far as Derby, without encountering any opposition. Here, however, they learned that the Duke of Cumberland had arrived from the Continent, and was making preparations to oppose them with an overwhelming force; and it was therefore finally determined, that as they could neither raise recruits in England, nor force their way into Wales, they should hasten their return to Scotland.
The Pretender had good reason to believe that important succours would be sent to him from France, or it is not likely that he would have crossed the border. But the vigilance of Admiral Vernon prevented the French fleet from venturing out; and thus all hope of foreign assistance was cut off. The forces
of the Pretender were greatly augmented on his return to Scotland; but finding that Edinburgh was in possession of the king's troops, he bent his course towards Stirling, which town he captured and besieged the castle. Matters had now assumed a very serious aspect, and public credit was most seriously affected; but there was no lack of energy in the Government, nor any want of patriotism among the nobility, merchants, or traders of England : all ranks, in fact, united with ready zeal in meeting the exigency of the occasion. Many new regiments were raised by wealthy and patriotic individuals; and it was found that by the voluntary exertions of the people, 60,000 troops could be added to the king's forces.
In January 1746, General Hawley had suffered a complete defeat in endeavouring to raise the siege of Stirling. But a day of terrible retribution was at hand. On the 16th of April the royal army, under the command of the Duke of Cumberland, encountered the troops of the Pretender on Culloden-Moor. The Highlanders began the attack in their wild, furious way, rushing on the royal troops with their broad swords and Lochabar axes ; but the English, being now prepared for this mode of attack, received them with fixed bayonets, keeping up a steady and wellsustained fire of musketry, while the destruction of their ranks was completed by discharges of artillery. In thirty minutes the battle was converted into a rout; and orders having been issued to give no quarter, vast numbers were slain in the pursuit. The loss of the rebels was estimated at about 4000, while the number of killed in the royal army is said to have scarcely exceeded fifty men! Intoxicated, as it were, with their unexampled victory, the conquerors seemed only bent on merciless vengeance, and the whole country around became a scene of cruelty and desolation. As to the unfortunate Prince Charles Edward, he escaped with difficulty from the battle, and after wandering alone in the mountains for several months, in various disguises, he found means to make his escape to France.
One great cause of the Pretender's preservation was the belief that he had been slain; which arose from the following circumstances. Among his friends, who followed as much as possible in his track, a party was surprised in a hut on the side of the Benalder mountain, by the soldiers who were in search of him. Having seized them, one named Mackenzie effected his escape, upon which his companions told the soldiers that it was the prince; the soldiers thereupon fled in pursuit and overtook the youth, who, when he found their error, resolved to sacrifice
his life, in the hope it might save his master's. He bravely contended with them, refused quarter, and died with his sword in his hand; exclaiming as he fell, “ You have killed your prince.” And this declaration was believed by many. “We cannot, however,” says the biographer of the events of Culloden, “without pride, mention the astonishing fact, that though the sum of thirty thousand pounds sterling was long publicly offered for his apprehension, and though he passed through very many hands, and both the reward and his person were perfectly well known to an intelligent and very inquisitive people, yet no man or woman was to be found capable of degrading themselves by earning so vast a reward by betraying a fugitive, whom misfortune had thrown upon their generosity.” At length, on the 19th of September, the Young Pretender embarked with twenty-five gentlemen and one hundred and seven common men, in a French vessel, sent for that purpose to the coast; and after a passage of ten days he arrived at Roseau, near Morlaix, and immediately proceeded to Paris, where he was kindly received by Louis XV. But his hopes were for ever fled. The courage and fortitude he displayed in Scotland seemed to have forsaken him with a reverse of fortune, and during the remainder of his days no trace of noble ambition marked his actions.
The Duke of Cumberland had now become the idol of the nation; and for his bravery at Culloden the Parliament voted 25,000l. per annum in addition to his former income. Several Acts were passed for protecting the government of Scotland and securing its loyalty; and many executions of the rebels took place in different parts of the kingdom. Bills of indictment for high treason were found against the Earls of Kilmarnock and Cromartie, and Lord Balmerino, who were tried in Westminster Hall. All three pleaded guilty; Kilmarnock and Balmerino were executed on Tower Hill, but Cromartie's life was spared. Foremost among those who had engaged to venture their lives and fortunes in restoring the Stuart family to the throne of England was Lord Lovat, a man whose character was branded with many vices, and whose great age (for he was in his goth year) had not deterred him from taking an active part in fomenting and encouraging the late rebellion. Being found guilty by his peers he was remanded to the Tower, where in a few months afterwards he was beheaded. At this last scene of his life he behaved with great propriety: his behaviour was dignified and composed; he surveyed the assembled multitude with a cheerful countenance, and taking up the axe to examine it, he repeated from Horace,
“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori!”* then laying his head on the block, it was severed from his body at a single stroke.—Maunder's Treasury of History.'
THE SOUTH SEA BUBBLE AND ITS BURSTING. (GEORGE I.)
THE South Sea Company, to which Government was greatly indebted, was in the habit of contenting itself with five per cent. interest, on account of the largeness of its claim, instead of six per cent., which the Government paid to all the other public companies to which it was indebted. A scrivener, named Blount, of more ability than principle, availed himself of this state of things to commence a deep and destructive part of the scheme. It was quite obviously to the advantage of the nation to pay five rather than six per cent. upon all its debts, as well as upon the one considerable debt that was due to the South Sea Company; and, on the other hand, it was well worth the while of that wealthy company to add as much as possible to the already large amount upon which five per cent. interest was punctually paid by the Government. Blount put the case so plausibly on the part of the Company, and so skilfully threw in the additional inducement to the Government of a reduction of the interest from five to four per cent. at the end of six years, that the scheme seemed to be an actual reduction of one-sixth of the whole national burthen immediately, and a reduction of a third at the end of six years. Every encouragement and sanction were consequently given to the plan by which the South Sea Company was to buy up the claims of all other creditors of the Government. Hitherto only the fair side of the scheme had been displayed; now came the important question where was the South Sea Company, wealthy as it might be, to find the vast sum of money necessary for rendering it sole Government creditor ? Blount was ready with his reply. By a second part of his scheme he proposed to enrich the nation enormously by opening up a new, vast, and safe trade to the South Seas; and flaming prospectuses
* It is sweet and proper to die for one's country.