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80. Particularly, let my own tenants in Kildrummy know, that if they come not forth with their best arms, I will send a party immediately to burn what they shall miss taking from them : And they may believe this not only a threat, but, by all that's sacred, I'll put it in execution, let my loss be what it will. You are to tell the gentlemen that I'll expect them in their best accoutrements, on horseback, and no excuse to be accepted of. Go about this with all diligence, and come yourself and let me know your having done so. All this is not only as ye will be answerable to me, but to your king and country. “ Your assured friend and servant,
Mar.” “ To John Forbes of Inverawe,
Bailie of Kildrummy.”
This letter, however, will supply the reader with deeper matter of reflection than merely the dignity and the vulgarity which may co-exist in the same character. He must observe with pain the absolute power which a Scottish landlord then possessed ever the persons-over the very minds of his tenants. The obligation of landlord and tenant is properly a mere matter of commerce; and the one should be no more subservient to the other, than a retail trader is to a wholesale merchant. Yet, here, from the relics of the feudal system still clinging to Scotland, we find a proprietor threatening to destroy the goods of his tenants, without mercy or reserve, in case that they shall refuse to obey his high behest, by hazarding their persons in a contest, about the object of which they were perhaps indiffent. It is also worth while to remark, the strangely inconsistent characters which were associated in this imperious person. The man who, in the cities of the plain, could act the polished courtier to admiration, who had just been performing the lofty duties of a British Secretary of State, and who, no doubt, appeared in that station as every thing that a modern gentleman and statesman could be expected to be, is here seen in the character of a barbarous Highland chief, exercising a sway over bis vassals as absolute as that of a Norman baron of the tenth century, and quite oblivious, to all appearance, of the rules and sentiments which dictated his conduct in another character. In one and the same month, this man could administer the freedom of the British constitution in Whitehall, and put the feudal law in force against the miserable inhabitants of a Highland barony-could be the protector of the rights of three great nations, and the tyrant of a few farms. The mock king who parades the streets, in gilt tin and tinsel, on the 25th of October, is surely not more different from the sleek and decent tradesman into which he shrinks next day, than is the Earl of Mar as he was in 1714, and the Earl of Mar as he was in 1715 as he was at London, and is at Braemar. Yet the Earl of Mar was only acting, in both characters, as circumstances dictated. One end of the kingdom was then at the height of civilization, another at the extreme of rudeness : he bad an interest at both ends ; and it was necessary that he should have a different mode of conduct, almost a different theory of moral sentiment for each. It was place, and not time, which made the difference. And it is not to be supposed that he had more difficulty in shifting the character of the refined statesman, for that of
the savage chief, than he could have had in exchanging his velvet court-dress and small sword, for the kilt and dirk.
It may be proper to conclude this chapter with the manifesto which Mar and his adherents published at this time. It is a document valuable in many respects, but chiefly so as giving a very fair view of the sentiments and objects with which the Jacobite faction in Scotland entered upon this civil war.
“ Manifesto by the Noblemen, Gentlemen, and
others, who dutifully appear at this time, in asserting the undoubted right of their lawful Sovereign, James the Eighth, by the Grace of God, King of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. and for relieving this, his ancient kingdom, from the oppressions and grievances it lies under.
“ His Majesty's right of blood to the crowns of these realms is undoubted, and has never been dispated or arraigned by the least circumstance or lawful authority. By the laws of God, by the ancient constitutions, and by the positive unrepealed laws of the land, we are bound to pay his Majesty the duty of loyal subjects. Nothing can absolve us from this our duty of subjection and obedience. The laws of God require our allegiance to our rightful King ; the laws of the land secure our religion and other interests; and his Majesty, giving up himself to the support of his Protestant subjects, puts the means of securing to us our concerns, religious and civil, in our own hands. Our fundamental constitution has been entirely altered and
sunk amidst the various shocks of unstable faction; while, in searching out new expedients, pretended for our security, it has produced nothing but daily disappointments, and has brought us and our posterity under a precarious dependence upon foreign councils and interests, and the power of foreign troops. The late unhappy Union, which was brought about by the mistaken notions of some, and the ruinous and selfish designs of others, has proved so far from lessening and healing the differences betwixt his Majesty's subjects of Scotland and England, that it has widened and increased them. And it appears, by experience, so inconsistent with the rights, privileges, and interests of us and our good neighbours and fellow-subjects of England, that the continuance of it must inevitably ruin us, and hurt them ; nor can any way be found out to relieve us, and restore our ancient and independent constitution, but by the restoring our rightful and natural king, who has the only undoubted right to reign over us. Neither can we hope, that the party who chiefly contributed to bring us into bondage, will, at any time, endeavour to work our relief; since it's known how strenuously they opposed, in two late instances, the efforts that were made by all Scotsmen by themselves, and supported by the best and wisest of the English, towards so desirable an end, as they will not adventure openly to disown the dissolution of the Union to be. Our substance has been wasted in the late ruinous wars, and we see an unavoidable prospect of having wars continued on us and our posterity, so long as the possession of the crown is not in the right line. The hereditary rights of the subjects, though confirmed by conventions and parliaments, are now treated as of no value or force ; and past services to the crown and royal family are now looked upon as grounds of suspicion. A packed up assembly, who call themselves a British parliament, have, so far as in them lies, inhumanly murdered their own and our sovereign, by promising a great sum of money as the reward of 80 execrable a crime. They have proscribed, by unaccountable and groundless impeachments and attainders, the worthy Patriots of England, for their honourable and successful endeavours to restore trade, plenty, and peace, to these nations.
.." They have broken in upon the sacred laws of both countries, by which the liberty of our perSons was secured; they have empowered a foreign prince (who, notwithstanding his expectations of the crown for fifteen years, is still unacquainted with our manners, customs, and language), to make an absolute conquest (if not timely prevented) of the three kingdoms, by investing himself with unlimited power, not only of raising unnecessary forces at home, but also of calling in foreign troops, ready to promote his uncontrollable designs. Nor can we be ever hopeful of it's being otherwise, in the way it is at present, for some generations to come. And the sad consequences of these unexampled proceedings have really been so fatal to great numbers of our kinsmen, friends, and fellow-subjects, of both kingdoms, that they have been constrained to abandon their country, houses, wives and children, or give themselves up prisoners, and perhaps victims, to be sacrificed at the pleasure of foreigners, and a few hot-headed men of a restless faction, whom they employ. Our troops abroad,