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The Scot in New France (1535-1880)


On his return to England, he was rewarded by a higher command. "General Murray, says his biographer, was subsequently distinguished for his gallant, though unsuccessful defence of Minorca, in 1781, against the Due de Crillon, at the head of a large Spanish and French force. De Crillon, despairing of success, endeavored to corrupt the trusty and gallant Scot, offering him the sum of one million sterling for the surrender of the fortress. Indignant at this attempt, General Murray immediately ad dressed the following letter to the Duke:

"Fort St. Phillip, 16th October, 1781.

When your brave ancestor was desired by his sovereign to assassinate the Duke de Guise, he returned the answer which you should have thought of, when you attempted to assassinate the character of a man whose birth is as illustrious as your own, or that of the Duke de Guise. I can have no further communication with you but in arms. If you have any humanity, pray send clothing for your unfortunate prisoners in my possession; leave it at a dis- V tance to be taken up for them, because I will admit of no contact for the future, but such as is hostile in the most inveterate degree."

There is a true ring here! One feels better after reading such sentiments. You cannot mistake that proud sense of duty, which had actuated the Scot on French soil, V three centuries previous,—death preferable to dishonor— a sentiment which had won for him the well known epithet, "Pier comme un Ecossais."

The Duke de Crillon’s reply was characteristic:

"Your letter, said he, restores each of us to our places; it confirms me in the high opinion I have always had of you. I accept your last proposal with pleasure."

General James Murray, closed his career in 1791 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Haydn adds that alter his death, on his corpse being opened for the pur-


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