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c H A p. in all his dominions; he lent a willing ear to suggesv^^z tions which, however ill-grounded or improbable, 16W. were so conformable to his own daring character. He armed several of the inhabitants of the Orkneys, though an unwarlike people, and carried them over with him to Caithness; hoping that the general affection to the king's service, and the fame of his former exploits, would make the Highlanders flock to his standard. But all men were now harassed and fatigued with wars and disorders: Many of those who formerly adhered to him, had been severely punished by the covenanters: And no prospect of success was entertained in opposition to so great a force as was drawn together against him. But however weak Montrose's army, the memory of past events struck a great terror into the committee of estates. They immediately ordered Lesley and Holborne to march against him with an army ol 4000 men. Strahan was sent before, with a body of cavalry, to check his progress. He fell unexpectedly on Montrose, who had no horse to bring him intelligence. The royalists were put to flight; all of them either killed or taken prisoners; and Montrose Montrose himself, having put on the disguise of a taken pii- peasant, was perfidiously delivered into the hands of his enemies, by a friend to whom he had entrusted his person.
All the insolence which success can produce in ungenerous minds, was exercised by the covenanters against Montrose, whom they so much hated and so much dreaded. Theological antipathy farther increased their indignities towards a person, whom they regarded as impious on account of the excommunication which had been pronounced against him. Lesley led him about for several days in the same low habit under which he had disguised himself. The vulgar, wherever he passed, were instigated to reproach and vilify him. When he came to Edinburgh, every circumstance of elaborate
rage rage and insult was put in practice by order of theC H A p. parliament. At the gate of the city he was met vJl^J by the magistrates, and put into a new cart, pur- i6ao. posely made with a high chair or bench, where he was placed, that the people might have a full view of him. He was bound with a cord, drawn over his breast and shoulders, and fastened through holes made in the cart. The hangman then took off the hat of the noble prisoner, and rode himself before the cart in his livery, and with his bonnet on; the other officers, who were taken prisoners with the marquis, walking two and two before them.
The populace, more generous and humane, when they saw so mighty a change of fortune in this great man, so lately their dread and terror, into whose hands the magistrates, a few years before, had delivered on their knees the keys of the city, were struck with compassion, and viewed him with silent tears and admiration. The preachers next Sunday, exclaimed against this movement of rebel nature, as they termed it; and reproached the people with their profane tenderness towards the capital enemy of piety and religion.
When he was carried before the parliament which was then sitting, Loudon, the chancellor, in a violent declamation, reproached him with the breach of the national covenant, which he had subscribed; his rebellion against God, the king, and the kingdom; and the many horrible murders, treasons, and impieties for which he was now to be brought to condign punishment. Montrose in his answer maintained the same superiority above his enemies, to which by his fame and great actions, as well as by the consciousness of a good cause, he was justly entitled. He told the parliament, that since the king, as he was informed, had so far avowed their authority, as to enter into a treaty with them, he now appeared uncovered before their tribunal; a respect
Jj 2 which,
° *lx P' w^ic^» while they stood in open defiance to their v^v^/ sovereign, they would in vain have required of him. i6io. That he acknowledged, with infinite shame and remorse, the errors of his early conduct, when their plausible pretences had seduced him to tread with them the paths of rebellion, and bear arms against his prince and country. That his following services, he hoped, had sufficiently testified his repentance; and his death would now atone for that guilt, the only one with which he could justly reproach himself. That in all his warlike enterprises he was warranted by that commission, which he had received from his and their master, against whose lawful authority they had erected their standard. That to venture his life for his sovereign was the least part of his merit: He had even thrown down his arms in obedience to the sacred commands of the Icing; and had resigned to them the victory, which, in defiance of all their efforts, he was still enabled to dispute with them. That no blood had ever been shed by him but in the field of battle; and many persons were now in his eye, many now dared to pronounce sentence of death upon him, whose life, forfeited by the laws of war, he had formerly saved from the fury of the soldiers. That he was sorry to find no better testimony of their return to allegiance than the murder of so faithful a subject, in whose death the king's commission must be, at once, so highly injured and affronted. That as to himself, they had in vain endeavoured to vilify and degrade him by all their studied indignities: The justice of his cause, he knew, would ennoble any fortune; nor had he other affliction than to see the authority of his prince, with which he was invested, treated with so much ignominy. And that he now joyfully followed, by a like unjust sentence, his late sovereign; and should be happy if, in his future destiny, he could follow him to the same
blissful blissful mansions, where his piety and humane vir- Chap. tues had already, without doubt, secured him an eternal recompense. i650.
Montrose's sentence was next pronounced against him, "That he, James Graham, (for this was the only name they vouchsafed to give him,) "should next day be carried to Edinburgh cross, "and there be hanged on a gibbet, thirty feet high, "for the space of three hours: Then be taken "down, his head be cut off upon a scaffold, and "affixed to the prison: His legs and arms be stuck "up on the four chief towns of the kingdom: His "body be buried in the place appropriated for com"mon malefactors; except the church, upon his "repentance, should take off his excommunica"tion."
The clergy, hoping that the terrors of immediate death had now given them an advantage over their enemy, flocked about him, and insulted over his fallen fortunes. They pronounced his damnation, and assured him, that the judgment, which he was so soon to suffer, would prove but an easy prologue to that which he must undergo hereafter. They next offered to pray with him: But he was too well acquainted with those forms of imprecation which they called prayers. "Lord, vouchsafe yet "to touch the obdurate heart of this proud incorri«< gible sinner; this wicked, perjured, traitorous, "and profane person, who refuses to hearken to "the voice of thy church." Such were the petitions, which, he expected they would, according to custom, offer up for him. He told them, that they were a miserably deluded and deluding people; and would shortly bring their country under the most insupportable servitude, to which any nation had ever been reduced. "For my part," added he, "I am much prouder to have my head affixed "to the place where it is sentenced to stand, than "to have my picture hang in the king's bed-cham
° 'Lx P'" ^er' ^o *"ar *"rom being sorry that my quarters.
v^v^" ate to be sent to four cities of the kingdom; I i65o. «* wish I had limbs enow to be dispersed into all "the cities of Christendom, there to remain as "testimonies in favour of the cause for which I "suffer." This sentiment, that very evening, while in prison, he threw into verse. The poem remains; a signal monument of his heroic spirit, and no despicable proof of his poetical genius.
n«t. May. Noav was led forth, amidst the insults of his enemies and the tears of the people, this man of illustrious birth, and of the greatest renown in the nation, to suffer, for his adhering to the laws of his country, and to the rights of his sovereign, the ignominous death destined to the meanest malefactor. Every attempt, which the insolence of the governing party had made to subdue his spirit, had hitherto proved fruitless: They made yet one effort more, in this last and melancholy scene, when all enmity, arising from motives merely human, is commonly softened and disarmed. The executioner brought that book, which had been published in elegant Latin, of his great military actions, and tied it by a cord about his neck. Montrose smiled at this new instance of their malice. He thanked them, however, for their officious zeal; and said, that he bore this testimony of his bravery and loyalty with more pride than he had ever worn the garter. Having asked, whether they had any more indigKxecated. njtjes to put upon him, and renewing some devout ejaculations, he patiently endured the last act of the executioner.
Thus perished, in the thirty-eighth year of his age, the gallant marquis of Montrose; the man whose military genius, both by valour and conduct, had shone forth beyond any which, during these civil disorders, had appeared in the three kingdoms. The finer arts too, he had, in his youth, successfully cultivated; and whatever was sublime,