Tales of a Grandfather, by Walter Scott

Chapter 58

I AM now to call your attention to an action of the Scottish Government, which leaves a great stain on the memory of King William, although probably that Prince was not aware of the full extent of the baseness, treachery, and cruelty, for which his commission was made a cover. I have formerly mentioned that some disputes arose concerning the distribution of a large sum of money, with which the Earl of Breadalbane was intrusted, to procure, or rather to purchase, a peace in the Highlands. Lord Breadalbane and those with whom he negotiated disagreed, and the English Government, becoming suspicious of the intentions of the Highland chiefs to play fast and loose on the occasion, sent forth a proclamation in the month of August, 1691, requiring all, and each of them, to submit to Government before the first day of January, 1692. After this period, it was announced in the same proclamation that those who had not submitted themselves, should be subjected to the extremities of fire and sword. This proclamation was framed by the Privy Council, under the influence of Sir John Dalrymple (Master of Stair, as he was called), whom I have already mentioned as holding the place of Lord Advocate, and who had in 1690 been raised to he Secretary of State, in conjunction with Lord Melville. The Master of Stair was at this time an intimate friend of Breadalbane, and it seems that he shared with that nobleman the warm hope and expectation of carrying into execution a plan of retaining a Highland army in the pay of Government, and accomplishing a complete transference of the allegiance of the chiefs to the person of King William, from that of King James. This could not have failed to be a most acceptable piece of service, upon which, if it could be accomplished, the Secretary might justly reckon as a title to his master’s further confidence and favour. But when Breadalbane commenced his treaty, he was mortified to find, that though the Highland chiefs expressed no dislike to King William’s money, yet they retained their secret fidelity to King James too strongly to make it safe to assemble them in a military body, as had been proposed. Many chiefs, especially those of the MacDonalds, stood out also for terms, which the Earl of Breadalbane and the Master of Stair considered as extravagant; and the result of the whole was, the breaking off the treaty, and the publishing of the severe proclamation already mentioned.

Breadalbane and Stair were greatly disappointed and irritated against those chiefs and tribes, who, being refractory on this occasion, had caused a breach of their favourite scheme. Their thoughts were now turned to revenge; and it appears from Stair’s correspondence, that he nourished and dwelt upon the secret hope, that several of the most stubborn chiefs would hold out beyond the term appointed for submission, in which case it was determined that. the punishment inflicted should be of the most severe and awful description. That all might be prepared for the meditated operations, a considerable body of troops were kept in readiness at Inverlochy, and elsewhere. These were destined to act against the refractory clans, and the campaign was to take place in the midst of winter, when it was supposed that the season and weather would prevent the Highlanders from expecting an attack.

But the chiefs received information of these hostile intentions, and one by one submitted to Government within the appointed period, thus taking away all pretence of acting against them. It is said that they did so by secret orders from King James, who having penetrated the designs of Stair, directed the chiefs to comply with the proclamation, rather than incur an attack which they had no means of resisting.

The indemnity, which protected so many victims, and excluded both lawyers and soldiers from a profitable job, seems to have created great disturbance in the mind of the Secretary of State. As chief after chief took the oath of allegiance to King William, and by doing so put themselves one by one out of danger, the greater became the anxiety of the Master of Stair to find some legal Haw for excluding some of the Lochaber clans from the benefit of the indemnity. But no opportunity occurred for exercising these kind intentions, excepting in the memorable, but fortunately the solitary instance, of the clan of the MacDonalds of Glencoe.

This clan inhabited a valley formed by the river Coe, or Cona, which falls into Lochleven, not far from the head of Loch–Etive. It is distinguished, even in that wild country, by the sublimity of the mountains, rocks, and precipices, in which it lies buried. The minds of men are formed by their habitations. The MacDonalds of the Glen were not very numerous, seldom mustering above two hundred armed men: but they were bold and daring to a proverb, confident in the strength of their country, and in the protection and support of their kindred tribes, the MacDonalds of Clanranald, Glengarry, Keppoch, Ardnamurchan, and others of that powerful name. They also lay near the possessions of the Campbells, to whom, owing to the predatory habits to which they were especially addicted, they were very bad neighbours, so that blood had at different times been spilt between them.

Mac Inn of Glencoe (this was the patronymic title of the chief of this clan) was a man of a stately and venerable person and aspect. He possessed both courage and sagacity, and was accustomed to be listened to by the neighbouring chieftains, and to take a lead in their deliberations. MacIan had been deeply engaged both in the campaign of Killiecrankie, and in that which followed under General Buchan; and when the insurgent Highland chiefs held a meeting with the Earl of Breadalbane, at a place called Auchallader, in the month of July 1691, fur the purpose of arranging an armistice, MacIan was present with the rest, and, it is said, taxed Breadalbane with the design of retaining a part of the money lodged in his hands for the pacification of the Highlands. The Earl retorted with vehemence, and charged MacIan with a theft of cattle, committed upon some of his lands by a party from Glencoe. Other causes of offence took place, in which old feuds were called to recollection; and MacIan was repeatedly heard to say, he dreaded mischief from no man so much as from the Earl of Breadalbane. Yet this unhappy chief was rash enough to stand out to the last moment, and decline to take advantage of King William’s indemnity, till the time appointed by the proclamation was wellnigh expired.

The displeasure of the Earl of Breadalbane seems speedily to have communicated itself to the Master of Stair, who, in his correspondence with Lieutenant–Colonel Hamilton, then commanding in the Highlands, expresses the greatest resentment against MacIan of Glencoe, for having, by his interference, marred the bargain between Breadalbane and the Highland chiefs. Accordingly, in a letter of 3d December, the Secretary intimated that Government was determined to destroy utterly some of the clans, in order to terrify the others, and he hoped that, by standing out and refusing to submit under the indemnity, the MacDonalds of Glencoe would fall into the net — which meant that they would afford a pretext for their extirpation. This letter is dated a month before the time limited by the indemnity; so long did these bloody thoughts occupy the mind of this unprincipled statesman. Ere the term of mercy expired, however, MacIan’s own apprehensions, or the advice of friends, dictated to him the necessity of submitting to the same conditions which others had embraced, and he went with his principal followers to take the oath of allegiance to King William. This was a very brief space before the 1st of January, when, by the terms of the proclamation, the opportunity of chiming the indemnity was to expire. MacIan was, therefore, much alarmed to find that Colonel Hill, the governor of Fort William, to whom he tendered his oath of allegiance, had no power to receive it, being a military, and not a civil officer. Colonel Hill, however, sympathized with the distress and even tears of the old chieftain, and gave him a letter to Sir Colin Campbell of Ardkinlas, Sheriff of Argyleshire, requesting him to receive the “ lost sheep,” and administer the oath to him, that he might have the advantage of the indemnity, though so late in claiming it.

MacIan hastened from Fort “William to Inverary, without even turning aside to his own house, though he passed within a mile of it. But the roads, always very bad, were now rendered almost impassable by a storm of snow; so that, with all the spend the unfortunate chieftain could exert, the fatal 1st of January was past before he reached Inverary.

The Sheriff, however, seeing that MacIan had complied with the spirit of the statute, in tendering his submission within the given period, under the sincere, though mistaken belief, that he was applying to the person ordered to receive it; and considering also, that, but for the tempestuous weather, it would after all have been offered in presence of the proper law-officer, did not hesitate to administer the oath of allegiance, and sent off an express to the Privy Council containing an attestation of MacIan’s having taken the oaths, and a full explanation of the circumstances which had delayed his doing so until the lapse of the appointed period. The Sheriff also wrote to Colonel Hill what he had done, and requested that he would take care that Glencoe should not be annoyed by any military parties until the pleasure of the Council should be known, which he could not doubt would be favourable.

MacIan, therefore, returned to his own house, and resided there, as he supposed, in safety, under the protection of the Government to which he had sworn allegiance. That he might merit this protection, he convoked his clan, acquainted them with his submission, and commanded them to live peaceably, and give no cause of offence, under pain of his displeasure.

In the mean time, the vindictive Secretary of State had procured orders from his Sovereign respecting the measures to be followed with such of the chiefs as should not have taken the oaths within the term prescribed. The first of these orders, dated 11th January, contained peremptory directions for military execution, by fire and sword, against all who should not have made their submission within the time appointed. It was, however, provided, in order to avoid driving them to desperation, that there was still to remain a power of granting mercy to those clans who, even after the time was past, should still come in and submit themselves. Such were the terms of the first royal warrant, in which Glencoe was not expressly named.

It seems afterwards to have occurred to Stair, that Glencoe and his tribe would be sheltered under this mitigation of the intended severeties, since he had already come in and tendered his allegiance. without waiting for the menace of military force. A second set of instructions were therefore made out on the 16th January. These held out the same indulgence to other clans who should submit themselves at the very last hour (a hypocritical pretext, for there existed none which stood in such a predicament), but they closed the gate of mercy against the devoted MacIan, who had already done all that was required of others. The words are remarkable:—” As for MacIan of Glencoe and that tribe, if they can be well distinguished from the rest of the Highlanders, it will be proper, for the vindication of public justice, to extirpate that set of thieves.”

You will remark the hypocritical clemency and real cruelty of these instructions, which profess a readiness to extend mercy to those who needed it not (for all the other Highlanders had submitted within the limited time), and deny it to Glencoe, the only man who had not been able literally to comply with the proclamation, though in all fair construction, he had done what it required. Under what pretence or colouring King William’s authority was obtained for such cruel instructions, it would be in vain to enquire. The Sheriff of Argyle’s letter had never been produced before the Council; and the certificate of MacIan’s having taken the oath was blotted out, and, in the Scottish phrase, deleted from the books of the Privy Council. It seems probable therefore that the fact of that chief’s submission was altogether concealed from the King, and that he was held out in the light of a desperate and incorrigible leader of banditti, who was the main obstacle to the peace of the Highlands; but if we admit that William acted under such misrepresentations, deep blame will still attach to him for rashly issuing orders of an import so dreadful. It is remarkable that these fatal instructions are both superscribed and subscribed by the King himself, whereas, in most state papers the Sovereign only superscribes, and they are countersigned by the Secretary of State, who is answerable for their tenor; a responsibility which Stair. on that occasion, was not probably ambitious of claiming.

The Secretary’s letters to the military officers, directing the mode of executing the King’s orders, betray the deep and savage interest which he took personally in their tenor, and his desire that the bloody measure should be as general as possible. He dwelt in these letters upon the proper time and season for cutting off the devoted tribe. “ The winter,” he said, “ is the only season in which the Highlanders cannot elude us, or carry their wives, children, and cattle, to the mountains. They cannot escape you; for what human constitution can then endure to be long out of house? This is the proper season to maul them, in the long dark nights.” He could not suppress his joy that Glencoe had not come in within the term prescribed; and expresses his hearty wishes that others had followed the same course. He assured the soldiers that their powers should be ample; and he exacted from them proportional exertions. He entreated that the thieving tribe of Glencoe might be rooted out in earnest; and he was at pains to explain a phrase which is in itself terribly significant. He gave directions for securing every pass by which the victims could escape, and warned the soldiers that it were better to leave the thing unattempted, than fail to do it to purpose. “ To plunder their lands, or drive off their cattle, would,” say his letters, “ be only to render them desperate; they must be all slaughtered, and the manner of execution must be sure, secret, and effectual.”

These instructions, such as have been rarely penned in a Christian country, were sent to Colonel Hill, the Governor of Fort William, who, greatly surprised and grieved at their tenor, endeavoured for some time to evade the execution of them. At length, obliged by his situation to render obedience to the King’s commands, he transmitted the orders to Lieutenant–Colonel Hamilton, directing him to take four hundred men of a Highland regiment belonging to the Earl of Argyle, and fulfil the royal mandate. Thus, to make what was intended yet worse, if possible, than it was in its whole tenor, the perpetration of this cruelty was committed to soldiers, who were not only the countrymen of the proscribed, but the near neighbours, and some of them the close connexions, of the MacDonalds of Glencoe. This is the more necessary to be remembered, because the massacre has unjustly been said to have been committed by English troops. The course of the bloody deed was as follows.

Before the end of January, a party of the Earl of Argyle’s regiment, commanded by Captain Campbell of Glenlyon, approached Glencoe. MacIan’s sons went out to meet them with a body of men, to demand whether they came as friends or foes. The officer replied, that they came as friends, being sent to take up their quarters for a short time in Glencoe, in order to relieve the garrison of Fort William, which was crowded with soldiers. On this they were welcomed with all the hospitality which the chief and his followers had the means of extending to them, and they resided for fifteen days amongst the unsuspecting MacDonalds, in the exchange of every species of kindness and civility. That the laws of domestic affection might be violated at the same time with those of humanity and hospitality, you are to understand that Alaster MacDonald, one of the sons of MacIan, was married to a niece of Glenlyon, who commanded the party of soldiers. It appears also, that the intended cruelty was to be exercised upon defenceless men: for the Macdonalds, though afraid of no other ill-treatment from their military guests, had supposed it possible the soldiers might have a commission to disarm them, and therefore had sent their weapons to a distance, where they might be out of reach of seizure. Glenlyon’s party had remained in Glencoe for fourteen or fifteen days, when he received orders from his commanding officer Major Duncanson, expressed in a manner which shows him to have been the worthy agent of the cruel Secretary. They were sent in conformity with orders of the same date, transmitted to Duncanson by Hamilton, directing that all the MacDonalds, under seventy years of age, were to he cut off, and that the Government was not to be troubled with prisoners. Duncanson’s orders to Glenlyon were as follows: “ You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels, and put all to the sword under seventy. You are to have especial care that the old fox and his cubs do on no account escape your hands; you are to secure all the avenues, that no man escape. This you are to put in execution at four in the morning precisely, and by that time, or very shortly after, I will strive to ho at you with a stronger party. Hut if I do not come to you at four, you are not to tarry for me, but fall on. This is by the King’s special command, for the good and safety of the country, that these miscreants be cut off root and branch. See that this be put into execution without either fear or favour, else you may expect to be treated as not true to the King or Government, nor a man fit to carry a commission in the King’s service. Expecting that you will not fail in the fulfilling hereof, as you love yourself, I subscribe these with my hand, “ ROBERT DUNCANSON”

This order was dated 12th February, and addressed, “ For their Majesties’ service, to Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon.”

This letter reached Glenlyon soon after it was written; and he lost no time in carrying the dreadful mandate into execution. In the interval, he did not abstain from any of those acts of familiarity which had lulled asleep the suspicions of his victims. He took his morning draught, as had been his practice every day since he came to the glen, at the house of Alaster Mac Donald, MacIan’s second son, who was married to his (Glenlyon’s) niece. He, and two of his officers named Lindsay, accepted an invitation to dinner from MacIan himself, for the following day, on which they had determined he should never see the sun rise. To complete the sum of treachery, Glenlyon played at cards, in his own quarters, with the sons of MacIan, John and Alaster, both of whom were also destined for slaughter.

About four o’clock, in the morning of 13th February, the scene of blood began. A party, commanded by one of the Lindsays, came to MacIan’s house and knocked for admittance, which was at once given. Lindsay, one of the expected guests at the family meal of the day, commanded this party, who instantly shot MacIan dead by his own bed-side, as he was in the act of dressing himself, and giving orders for refreshments to be provided for his fatal visitors. His aged wife was stripped by the savage soldiery, who, at the same time, drew off the gold rings from her fingers with their teeth. She died the next day. distracted with grief, and the brutal treatment she had received. Several domestics and clansmen were killed at the same place.

The two sons of the aged chieftain had not been altogether so confident as their father respecting the peaceful and friendly purpose of their guests. They observed, on the evening preceding the massacre, that the sentinels were doubled, and the mainguard strengthened. John, the elder brother, had even overheard the soldiers muttering amongst themselves, that they cared not about fighting the men of the glen fairly, but did not like the nature of the service they were engaged in; while others consoled themselves with the military logic, that their officers must be answerable for the orders given, they having no choice save to obey them. Alarmed with what had been thus observed and heard, the young men hastened to Glenlyon’s quarters, where they found that officer and his men preparing their arms. On questioning him about these suspicious appearances, Glenlyon accounted for them by a story, that he was bound on an expedition against some of Glengarry’s men; and alluding to the circumstance of their alliance, which made his own cruelty more detestable, he added, “ If anything evil had been intended, would I not have told Alaster and my niece?” Reassured by this communication, the young men retired to rest, but were speedily awakened by an old domestic, who called on the two brothers to rise and fly for their lives. “ Is it time for you,” TG58–16] he said, “ to be sleeping, when your father is murdered on his own hearth?” Thus roused, they hurried out in great terror, and heard throughout the glen, wherever there was a place of human habitation, the shouts of the murderers, the report of the muskets, the screams of the wounded, and the groans of the dying. By their perfect knowledge of the scarce accessible cliffs amongst which they dwelt, they were enabled to escape observation, and fled to the southern access of the glen. Mean time, the work of death proceeded with as little remorse as Stair himself could have desired. Even the slight mitigation of their orders respecting those above seventy years, was disregarded by the soldiery in their indiscriminate thirst for blood, and several very aged and bedridden persons were slain amongst others. At the hamlet where Glenlyon had his own quarters, nine men, including his landlord, were bound and shot like felons; and one of them, MacDonald of Auchintriaten, had General Hill’s passport in his pocket at the time. A fine lad of twenty had, by some glimpse of compassion on the part of the soldiers, been spared, when one Captain Drummond came up, and demanding why the orders were transgressed in that particular, caused him instantly to be put to death. A boy, of five or six years old, clung to Glenlyon’s knees, entreating for mercy, and offering to become his servant for life, if he would spare him. Glenlyon was moved; but the same Drummond stabbed the child with his dirk, while he was in this agony of supplication. At a place called Auchnaion, one Barber, a sergeant, with a party of soldiers, fired on a group of nine MacDonalds, as they were assembled round their morning fire, and killed four of them. The owner of the house, a brother of the slain Auchintriaten, escaped unhurt, and expressed a wish to be put to death rather in the open air than within the house. “ For your bread which I have eaten,” answered Barber, “ I will grant the request.” MacDonald was dragged to the door accordingly; but he was an active man, and when the soldiers were presenting their firelocks to shoot him, he cast his plaid over their faces, and taking advantage of the confusion, broke from them, and escaped up the glen.

The alarm being now general, many other persons, male and female, attempted their escape in the same manner as the two sons of MacIan and the person last mentioned. Flying from their burning huts, and from their murderous visitors, the half-naked fugitives committed themselves to a winter morning of darkness, snow, and storm, amidst a wilderness the most savage in the West Highlands, having a bloody death behind them, and before them tempest, famine, and desolation. Bewildered in the snow-wreaths, several sunk to rise no more. But the severities of the storm were tender mercies compared to the cruelty of their persecutors. The great fall of snow, which proved fatal to several of the fugitives, was the means of saving the remnant that escaped. Major Duncanson, agreeably to the plan expressed in his orders to Glenlyon, had not failed to put himself in motion, with four hundred men, on the evening preceding the slaughter; and had he reached the eastern passes out of Glencoe by four in the morning, as he calculated, he must have intercepted and destroyed all those who took that only way of escape from Glenlyon and his followers. But as this reinforcement arrived so late as eleven in the forenoon, they found no MacDonald alive in Glencoe, save an old man of eighty, whom they slew ; and after burning such houses as were yet unconsumed, they collected the property of the tribe, consisting of twelve hundred head of cattle and horses, besides goats and sheep, and drove them off to the garrison of Fort William.

Thus ended this horrible deed of massacre. The number of persons murdered was thirty-eight; those who escaped might amount to a hundred and fifty males, who, with the women and children of the tribe, had to fly more than twelve miles through rocks and wildernesses, ere they could reach any place of safety or shelter.

This detestable butchery excited general horror and disgust, not only throughout Scotland, but in foreign countries, and did King William, whose orders, signed and superscribed by himself, were the warrant of the action, incredible evil both in popularity and character.

Stair, however, seemed undaunted, and had the infamy to write to Colonel Hill, while public indignation was at the highest, that all that could be said of the matter was, that the execution was not so complete as it might have been. There was, besides, a pamphlet published in his defence, offering a bungled vindication of his conduct; which, indeed, amounts only to this, that a man of the Master of Stair’s high place and eminent accomplishments, who had performed such great services to the public, of which a laboured account was given; one also, who, it is particularly insisted upon, performed the duty of family worship regularly in his household, ought not to be over-severely questioned for the death of a few Highland Papists, whose morals were no better than those of English highwaymen.

No public notice was taken of this abominable deed until 1695, three years after it had been committed, when, late and reluctantly, a Royal Commission, loudly demanded by the Scottish nation, was granted, to enquire into the particulars of the transaction, and to report the issue of their investigations to Parliament.

The members of the Commission, though selected as favourable to King William, proved of a different opinion from the apologist of the Secretary of State, and reported, that the letters and instructions of Stair to Colonel Hill and others, were the sole cause of the murder. They slurred over the King’s share of the guilt by reporting, that the Secretary’s instructions went beyond the warrant which William had signed and superscribed. The royal mandate, they stated, only ordered the tribe of Glencoe to be subjected to military execution, in case there could be any mode found of separating them from the other Highlanders. Having thus found a screen, though a very flimsy one, for William’s share in the transaction, the report of the Commission let the whole weight of the charge fall on Secretary the Master of Stair, whose letters, they state, intimated no mode of separating the Glencoe men from the rest, as directed by the warrant; but, on the contrary, did, under a pretext of public duty, appoint them, without enquiry or distinction, to be cut off and rooted out in earnest and to purpose, and that “ suddenly, secretly, and quietly.” They reported, that these instructions of Stair had been the warrant for the slaughter; that it was unauthorized by his Majesty’s orders, and, in fact, deserved no name save that of a most barbarous murder. Finally, the report named the Master of Stair as the deviser, and the various military officers employed as the perpetrators, of the same, and suggested, with great moderation, that Parliament should address his Majesty to send home Glenlyon and the other murderers to be tried, or should do otherwise as his Majesty pleased.

The Secretary, being by this unintelligible mode of reasoning thus exposed to the whole severity of the storm, and overwhelmed at the same time by the King’s displeasure, on account of the Darien affair (to be presently mentioned), was deprived of his office, and obliged to retire from public affairs. General indignation banished him so entirely from public life, that, having about this period succeeded to his father’s title of Viscount Stair, he dared not take his seat in Parliament as such, on account of the threat of the Lord Justice–Clerk, that if he did so, he would move that the address and report upon the Glencoe Massacre should be produced and enquired into. It was the year 1700 before the Earl of Stair found the affair so much forgotten, that he ventured to assume the place in Parliament to which his rank entitled him; and he died in 1707, on the very day when the treaty of Union was signed, not without suspicion of suicide.

Of the direct agents in the massacre, Hamilton absconded, and afterwards joined King William’s army in Flanders, where Glenlyon, and the officers and soldiers connected with the murder, were then serving. The King, availing himself of the option left to him in the address of the Scottish Parliament, did not order them home for trial; nor does it appear that any of them were dismissed the service, or punished for their crime, otherwise than by the general hatred of the age in which they lived, and the universal execration of posterity. Although it is here a little misplaced, I cannot refrain from telling you an anecdote connected with the preceding events, which befell so late as the year 1745–6, during the romantic attempt of Charles Edward, grandson of James II., to regain the throne of his fathers. He marched through the Lowlands, at the head of an army consisting of the Highland clans, and obtained for a time considerable advantages. Amongst other Highlanders, the descendant of the murdered MacIan of Glencoe Joined his standard with a hundred and fifty men. The route of the Highland army brought them near to a beautiful seat built by the Earl of Stair, so often mentioned in the preceding narrative, and the principal mansion of his family. An alarm arose in the councils of Prince Charles, lest the MacDonalds of Glencoe should seize this opportunity of marking their recollection of the injustice done to their ancestors, by burning or plundering the house of the descendant of their persecutor; and, as such an act of violence might have done the Prince great prejudice in the eyes of the people. of the Lowlands, it was agreed that a guard should be posted to protect the house of Lord Stair. MacDonald of Glencoe heard the resolution, and deemed his honour and that of his clan concerned. He demanded an audience of Charles Edward, and admitting the propriety of placing a guard on a house so obnoxious to the feelings of the Highland army, and to those of his own clan in particular, he demanded, as a matter of right rather than favour, that the protecting guard should be supplied by the MacDonalds of Glencoe. If this request were not granted, he announced his purpose to return home with his people, and prosecute the enterprise no further. “ The MacDonalds of Glencoe,” he said, “ would be dishonoured by remaining in a service where others than their own men were employed to restrain them, under whatsoever circumstances of provocation, within the line of their military duty.” The royal Adventurer granted the request of the high — spirited chieftain, and the MacDonalds of Glencoe guarded from the slightest injury the house of the cruel and crafty statesman who had devised and directed the massacre of their ancestors. Considering how natural the thirst of vengeance becomes to men in a primitive state of society, and how closely it was interwoven with the character of the Scottish Highlander, Glencoe’s conduct on this occasion is a noble instance of a high and heroic preference of duty to the gratification of revenge.

We must now turn from this terrible story to one, which, though it does not seize on the imagination with the same force in the narrative, yet embraces a far wider and more extensive field of death and disaster.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:00