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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Charles parts with Malcolm Macleod


Charles accordingly entered with the baggage on his back, and, taking off his bonnet, made a low bow, and sat down at a distance from Malcolm. Mrs Mackinnon looked at the prince, and instantly her sympathy was excited. "Poor man!" she exclaimed, "I pity him. At the same time, my heart warms to a man of his appearance". Malcolm having told his sister that he was almost famishing with hunger, she set before him a plentiful Highland breakfast. Charles still sitting at a respectful distance, Malcolm invited him, as there were no strangers in the house, to draw near and share with him, there being abundance for both. Charles appeared very backward to obey the summons to eat, and said that though in an humble station, he knew better how to conduct himself than by sitting at the same table with his master; but Malcolm pretended to insist upon compliance, Charles rose from his seat, made a profound bow, and advancing towards the table, sat down, and attacked the viands without further ceremony.

In the course of their journey, Charles and his companion had fallen into a bog during the night, and as their feet and legs were still dirty, Malcolm desired the servant-maid in Gaelic, as she could not speak English, to bring some water into the room, and as he was much fatigued, to wash them. Whilst in the act of washing Macleod's feet, he said to the girl, "You see that poor sick man there. I hope you'll wash his feet too: it will be a great charity; for he had as much need as I have". "No such thing", said she, "although I wash the master's feet, I am not obliged to wash the servant's. What! he's but a low country woman's son. I will not wash his feet indeed". Malcolm, however, with much entreaty, prevailed upon the girl to wash Charles's feet and legs; but being rather rough in her treatment, he implored Malcolm to desire her not to rub so hard.

After this operation the wearied travellers went to bed; and at the desire of Malcolm, Mrs Mackinnon went out of the house, and sat down upon a neighbouring knoll, where she kept watch, whilst her guests remained in bed. Charles, who had thrown himself upon the bed in his clothes, slept two hours only; but Malcolm slept much longer. When Malcolm awoke, he was surprised to find Charles out of bed dandling Mrs Mackinnon's child, singing to it, and appearing as alert as if he had been in bed all night. He expressed a hope that the little boy - Neil Mackinnon - whom he carried in his arms, would be one day a captain in his service.

Informed that his brother-in-law was seen approaching the house, Malcolm went out to meet him. After the usual salutations, Malcolm, pointing to some ships of war that were hovering about the coast, said to Mackinnon, "What if the prince be on board one of them?" "God forbid", replied Mackinnon, "I would not wish that for anything". "What", said Malcolm, "if he were here,John? Do you think he would be safe enough?". "I wish we had him here", rejoined Mackinnon, "for he would be safe enough". Macleod, now fully assured that his brother-in-law might be confided in, said, "Well, then, he is now in your house". Mackinnon transported with joy, was for running directly in and paying his obeisance to the prince; but Malcolm stopped him for a little, till he should recover from his surprise. "When you go in", continued Malcolm, "you must not take any notice of him, lest the servants or others observe you. He passed for one Lewis Caw, my servant". Mackinnon promised to observe faithfully the injuction given him, which he thought he would be able to fulfil; but, as soon as he entered the house, he could not avoid fixing his eyes upon Charles; and unable to repress his feelings at the spectacle he beheld, this generous and faithful Highlander, turning his face aside, burst into tears. To prevent suspicion, Mackinnon, at Malcolm's desire, left the room to compose himself.

Before being introduced to the prince, Mackinnon sent away all his servants from the house on different messages, and, during their absence, a consultation was held as to Charles's future destination. It was then resolved that he should proceed to the mainland immediately; and John Mackinnon was directed to go and hire a boat, as if for the sole use of his brother-in-law. As the laird of Mackinnon was old and infirm, and could be of little service to Charles in his present situation, Mackinnon was enjoined not to say anything about Charles to his chief, should be fall in with him. Meeting the old chieftain, however, on his way, Mackinnon, unable or unwilling to conceal the fact of the prince's arrival at Ellagol, disclosed the secret, and mentioned that he was going to hire a boat to carry Charles to the mainland. Gratified with the intelligence, the chief desired his clansman not to give himself any farther trouble about a boat, as he would provide a good one himself, and would wait upon the prince immediately. John returned to Ellagol, and having informed Charles of the interview with the laid, the latter said that he was sorry that Mackinnon had divulged the secret; but as there was now no help for it, he would conport himself according to circumstances. In a short time the aged chief appeared, and after doing homage to the royal wanderer, conducted the prince to a neighbouring cave, where he found Lady Mackinnon, who had lad out a refreshment of cold meat and wine, of which the whole party partook.

Before the arrival of the chief, Malcolm Macleod had represented to the prince, that, being within the laird's bounds, it would be necessary to allow him to direct everything in relation to the voyage, and, to prevent a difference of opinion arising between him and the chief, he suggested the propriety of remaining behind. Charles, extremely unwilling to part with one who had rendered him such important services, insisted upon his going along with him to the mainland; but Malcolm insisting on the other hand that the measure was proper, Charles, with much reluctance, consented to part with the faithful Macleod.

About eight o'clock at night the party left the cave, and proceeded towards the place where the boat lay. In their way they observed two English men-of-war standing in for the island, before the wind, under a press of sail. Malcolm thereupon entreated the prince to defer his voyage till such time, at least, as these vessels should take another course, more particularly as the wind was against him; but Charles disregarded the admonition, and observed, that after so many escapes, he had no apprehensions of being caught at that time; that Providence would still take care of him; and that he had no doubt of obtaining favourable wind immediately. Recollecting his sham appointment with Murdoch Macleod, for not keeping which Malcolm promised to make his apology, Charles thought the least thing he accordingly did, by writing him a short note, delivering it to Malcolm. He then desired Malcolm to light his pipe, as he wished to enjoy a smoke with him before parting. Snapping his gun, Malcolm by means of the flash in the pan, lighted some tow which he held at the mouth of the pipe whilst Charles blew it. As the pipe was extremely short, Charles's cheek was scorched with the blaze of the tow. At parting, Charles presented him with a silver stock-buckle, and then embracing Malcolm in his arms, saluted him twice, and begging God to bless him, put ten guineas into his hand. Malcolm at first positively refused to accept the money, as he perceived that the prince's purse was much exhausted; but Charles insisted upon his taking it, and assuring him that he would get enough for all his wants upon the mainland, Malcolm yielded. Having procured a better pipe, Charles presented the one with which he had been smoking to Malcolm, who preserved it with great care.


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