On hills that are by right his ain,
He roams a
hand he's pressed by want,
On ilka side by danger.
Yestreen I met him in the glen,
My heart near
chang'd indeed was he;
Oh, wae 's me for Prince Charlie!
Dark night came on, the tempest howl'd
the hills and valleys
whaur was 't that your prince lay down,
Wha 's hame should be a palace?
He row'd him in a Highland plaid,
Which cover'd him but sparely,
And slept beneath a bush o' broom'—
Oh, wae 's me
for Prince Charlie!'
FOR five long months Prince Charlie wandered in the
Highlands and Islands of western Scotland. He suffered hunger, and cold, and
wet, but through it all he was cheerful and brave. No house was safe, for
the whole country was full of soldiers searching for him. He hid in rocks
and caves by the seashore, or slept among the heather. Often he had no food
at all for a whole day at a time, other days he had only raw oatmeal.
Many times Prince Charlie was nearly caught, but he
escaped danger after danger. For although the money offered for his capture
would have made many a poor Highlander rich beyond his wildest dreams, not
one tried to earn it. Instead, they risked their lives and their freedom to
help and save him.
Among the many people who helped Prince Charlie, a
beautiful lady called Flora Macdonald is perhaps the most famous. With great
danger to herself, she went to him when he was hiding on the seashore and
the King's soldiers were all around seeking for him. Dressed as her maid he
travelled safely for a few days, and managed to escape from the island on
which he was at the time, and to go to another.
'There were twa bonnie maidens, and three bonnie
Cam' ower the Minch, and cam' ower the main,
Wi' the wind
for their way, and a corry for their home,
And they are dearly welcome
to Skye again!
Come along, come along,
Wi' your boatie and your song,
My ain bonnie maidens, my twa bonnie maidens,
For the night it is dark
and the red coat is gone,
And ye are dearly welcome to Skye again.
There is Flora my honey,
So dear and so bonnie,
And ane that's sae
tall and sae handsome withal:
Put the ane for my King and the other for
And they are dearly welcome to Skye again.
Come along, come
Wi' your boatie and your song,
My ain bonnie maidens, my twa
Aud saft shall ye rest, where the heather it is best,
And ye are dearly welcome to Skye again.'
When Flora Macdonald could no longer help the Prince,
he found other people ready to do so, and for some time he lived with seven
robbers, called the seven men of Glenmoriston. These seven men had fought at
Culloden, and now, afraid to return to their homes, they led a wild life
among the mountains. They hated the Butcher Duke and his soldiers, and they
attacked them and stole from them whenever they could. Once, four of them
attacked, and put to flight, seven of the Duke's men, and another time they
attacked a whole troop of soldiers and carried off from them a herd of
cattle which they were driving to the camp.
The Prince was nearly starving when he came among
these wild men, for he had had nothing to eat for two days. He was afraid to
tell who he was, and pretended that he was the son of a Highland chieftain.
In spite of his ragged clothes, however, the seven men knew the Prince at
once, but far from wishing to hurt him, they were delighted, and bound
themselves by a most solemn oath to help him in every way. 'May our backs be
to God, and our faces to the Evil One, may all the curses that the
scriptures do pronounce be upon us and our sons after us, if we do not stand
firm to the Prince in the greatest of dangers, or if we tell to any man,
woman, or child, that the Prince is in our keeping till once his person is
out of danger.'
And so well did they keep this oath, that the Prince
had been safe in France for a year, before they told any one that he had
been with them.
Charles lived for several weeks with these wild men.
They soon became good friends, and the robbers loved and served the Prince,
and did everything that they could to make his life more comfortable.
His clothes were very old and ragged, so they waylaid
a servant who was travelling with his master's clothes, and stole them for
the Prince. They went in disguise to the nearest town to hear the news and
buy newspapers, and once one of them brought a pennyworth of gingerbread
back with him, thinking it would be a great treat for the Prince!
Charles, on his side, insisted that he should be
treated as one of themselves. He made them keep on their bonnets, instead of
going bareheaded before him. And instead of calling him 'Your Highness' they
called him Dougal.
The robbers admired the Prince, because he could shoot
and hunt, and climb and walk, as well as any of them, and sometimes would
help to cook the dinner.
Charles could speak no Gaelic, and the seven men could
speak no English, so one of the Prince's friends had to translate all that
was said. It was agreed that the Prince should not say anything that could
not be translated to the men, and that the men should not say anything which
could not be translated to the Prince. Charles in this way found out that
they all used bad words, and swore dreadfully, lie scolded them for this,
and at last, when they saw that he was really sorry about it, they gave up
About this time a young man called Roderick Mackenzie,
who had fought for Charles, and who was very like him, was also wandering
and hiding among the hills and valleys. While the soldiers were hunting for
the Prince, they found Mackenzie. When they tried to take him prisoner, he
defended himself bravely, and fought hard for his life, but at last a
soldier struck him to the ground. Then seeing that he must die, and hoping
to serve his Prince to the last, he cried out, 'Villains, you have slain
your Prince.' The soldiers thinking that they had really killed the
Pretender, cut off Mackenzie's head and sent it to London, so for a time the
search for Charles was not so keen. But the mistake was soon found out.
Charles at last felt he must leave his kind robber friends and try once more
to escape to France. They loved him so well, that they tried hard to make
him stay. But he would not, and at length after some more adventures, he
managed to escape on board a French ship. Twenty - three gentlemen, and more
than a hundred common men, went with him. As they sailed away from their
beloved land, tears dimmed their eyes, but hope was strong in the hearts,
and they swore one day to return and conquer.
But they never came again.
Royal Charlie's now awa',
Safely ower the friendly main;
Mony a heart will break in twa,
he no come back again.
Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come
Better lo'ed ye canna be,
And will ye no come back again
Many of those who had fought for Charles died on the
scaffold. Many who had helped him to hide and escape were imprisoned. Among
these was Flora Macdonald, but two years later she was set free. Even while
she was a prisoner, people flocked to see her, glad to speak to and shake
hands with, so brave a woman, and there was hardly a woman in all Scotland
who did not envy her for having been able to help the Bonnie Prince.
And so Bonnie Prince Charlie goes out of our story.
The end of his life was sad. He lived an exile and a wanderer in foreign
lands, and at last died far from his own country.
In the great church of St. Peter in Rome there is a
monument, placed there, it is said, by King George IV., upon which there are
the names in Latin of James Ill., Charles III., and Henry IX., kings of
England. They were kings who never ruled, and who are known in history as
the Old Pretender, the Young Pretender, and Henry, Cardinal of York, who was
the younger brother of the Young Pretender.