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the passage. The result is well known. The Queen's army was defeated, and she herself—obliged to fly—sought shelter and protection in England, where, to the everlasting infamyof her cousin Elizabeth, she only found a prison, an axe, and a block.
In Glasgow, the sound of the cannon was distinctly heard, and from some of its elevations the movements even of the hostile armies were seen. Most of the people were of the reformed religion, and therefore in favour of the Regent and his army; but still there were many hearts that sympathized with the cause of their young and beautiful Queen, for, whatever wicked men might say, she had ever been gentle and generous to her people—no acts of oppression had stained her reign—and even in that which she held dearest—her religion— she had displayed more tolerance, a thousand times, than those who opposed her and who boasted a purer faith. For two or three hours a dreadful anxiety prevailed as to the result of the contest, and rumours of every kind were afloat, till at first stragglers, and at length a portion of the Regent's army, announced, too truly, that Mary Queen of Scotland was miserably defeated, and flying, like a hunted deer, before her savage subjects.
Though many wished such a result, there was little rejoicing over it; for however the Queen's cause might be disliked while her fortunes were doubtful, nou that she was driven to the wall and overtaken by calamity, old prejudices gave way to compassion, and all her grace and generosity—her youth, her beauty, and her accomplishments—her kind looks, words, and actions, to high and low alike, even when insulted by rude and uncivil tongues, were remembered in her favour. The women, especially, whoare everstrong in gentle pity, and who judge of the right and wrong of a cause merely as it affects their own feelings, began'to wail for their poor young Queen, and some of them hesitated not to use the privilege of their tongues in attacking her triumphant enemies. As party after party of the Regent's army returned to the Gorbals—some of them wiping their bloody swords on their horses' manes—they were saluted by such exclamations as these:—"Hech, sirs! hech sirs! bonny wark ye've been at, nae doubt, and manly—chasing out o' the kingdom a poor bit lassie, that was just owre gude for ye—and a' to favour that bastard brither o' hers, wha might think shame to haud up his head in honest men's company, seeing the way he has used her! Gae wa', and sing psalms, ye ill-iaured loons, now that your dirty day's darg's owre; for, after what ye have done, ye dinna deserve to look a bonny lassie in the face again!"
Besides a sympathy in the fate of the Queen, there were other causes at work to check any strong exultation over the victory. Many of the victors themselves had friends and relations in the Queen's army, and now that the fervour of the combat was over, a very natural interest arose regarding them. In this situation was Baron Elphinston, whose young son, Master Patrick, as he was called, had, in the teeth of his father's will, espoused the cause of Queen Mary. Master Patrick was a universal favourite throughout the barony, being handsome, generous, brave, and accessible; and deep was the intertst which all felt as to his probable fate. Rumours were abroad that he had fallen in the field, and some even went so far as to affirm, that they had seen him lying desperately wounded; but no certain or satisfactory intelligence could be gained respecting him, and several days passed over in this tantalizing state.
It might be nearly a week after the battle, when the excitement it created had in some measure subsided, that a numerous and heterogeneous party were assembled in the large hall of Mrs Ogilvie's hostelry, which was dignified by the sign of the Boar's Head, and which then formed the only house of public entertainment in the Gorbals.* Many of the wounded had been carried there; and upon the numerous benches which graced the hall might be seen some lying with bandaged heads or freshly amputated limbs, among whom stalked a chirurgeon,or physician, inquiring into their different cases. Others, apparently unhurt, were formed into clusters, and enjoying themselves over their " mugs of nappy ale," in discussing the signs of the times, and the accidents of the day. In one corner sat a core of cutlers,—fellows of infinite dexterity in giving an edge to a sword, —who, after the great exertions which the battle called forth, thought themselves entitled to no measured relaxation. They were reckless dogs, all—caring little for any cause—and dividing their time between violent exertion at their grinding wheels, and violent drinking at the Boar's Head, the last being by far the heaviest work of the two. In spite of invalids, or any other consideration, one of them was singing, with clenched fists, shut teeth, and gleaming eye, the following ditty, which received no attention from any but his own company, who cheered him on by such exclamations as—" Well done, Ralph Munn!—Goon, my pretty fellow!"
Three things that do make a man lean—
And sing Fal!
* The building of this ancient hostelry was taken down not very many years ago, and a new common-place house put in its stead. In the new building, there is a small spirit-shop, which still honourably retains the sign of the Boar's Head.
Three things that do make a man poor—
And sing Fall
Never let man trust woman too lang!
It would be impossible to convey to the reader any conception of the maniacal fury with which the chorus of " Fal-lal-lillillilla" was received. The cutlers simultaneously rose, and, flinging up their arms to heaven, screamed it out, in yells that drowned every other noise in the hostelry. But they were speedily checked by the remonstrances of their landlady. "For shame, Sirs! yelling at sic a rate, and your poor young mistress lying in a sick bed!"
"What! is pretty Mistress Martha ailing?" said one of the cutlers; for Martha, thedaughter of their mistress, who carried on the business on the death of their master, was a mighty favourite with the workmen.
"Ailing? She has not had a hale hour ever since the battle—and it sets ye ill to be sitting there routing, as if there were na a sair head or a sair heart in the town."
"Nay, landlady, we did not know any thing was wrong—and here we shall drink a bumper to pretty Martha's health—and if any one says she is not the prettiest, as well as best, lady on both sides of the water, we shall hold his nose to the roughening stone.''
"Well, that's spoken like civil gentlemen," said the landlady. "And now I will be able to let myself be heard. Dr Macclutch!" she exclaimed at the top of her voice. "Where's the Doctor? Ay, Doctor, there's an express here for you. You're to gang and wait on the Baron without delay. Poor gentleman! 1 doubt he's takin' his son's death to heart."
The Doctor, or chirurgeon—an officious, formal, good-natured man—was not a little gratified to find that he was in demand in such a high quarter, and particularly that the fact was made known to so many auditors. He buckled up a wound which he had been dressing, with little attention to the wry faces of his patient, and adjusting his cloak about him, proceeded with all decent dexterity to wait upon Baron Elphinston. i The Baron ushered him into one of his private apartments. "My son, doctor,'' said the Baron,—" poor Patrick— has at length been found. Some of my own knaves whose hearts he had gained, have, it seems, been keeping him in hiding ever since the battle, for he was sorely wounded, and he instructed them not to disclose his situation. But he was yesterday seized with a giddy fever,
* This was the favourite song of the last of the Gorbals cutlers, and fol his sake H P preserve it.
in consequence of his wounds, and his attendants became so alarmed as at length to lay the truth before me. I have seen him, doctor; but he is insensible to every thing. Now, I have sent for you, that you may attend him; but chiefly, as a trust-worthy man, that you may have him conveyed to some more fitting and salubrious place than the hovel which he now occupies. He cannot be brought here without discovery, filled as the place now is by so many of the Queen's enemies, and if he were taken, not even my influence could protect him from fine or imprisonment, or perhaps from death. Upon your fidelity, as I said, I rely, as well as upon your skill in treating him according to his need."
"My lord," said the doctor, " nothing would more gratify me than to shelter and treat Master Patrick under my own poor roof. But since the combat at Langside, my house has been frequently searched, in the hope of finding some of the Queen's friends, who might be driven to seek my skill in chirurgery. I therefore could not ensure him safety with me; but I bethink me ofa worthy and charitable lady, who is furnished with all accommodations, and who would be proud to give him protection. May I mention the widow of good old Master Menzies, who made so much fame and money by his skill in cuttling not only weapons of war but chirurgical instruments?"
"An excellent worthy woman," said the Baron, "and rich withal. She is, I believe, of better lineage than her husband was; yet she disdains not to continue his business, through his workmen, and to keep up his ancient credit as a grinder in iron. Hie thee, good doctor, and make arrangements with all speed, for I shall not be at ease till poor Patrick is removed to a comfortable and safe dwelling."
The doctor found the widow in all respects agreeable—nay, eager to receive Master Patrick under her roof, "not only," as she said, "because of the honour it conferred on her humble dwelling, but because of the aflection which she, in common with every body, bore him:''—and accordingly, under cloud of night, the young Master was unconsciously conveyed to the richly furnished and commodious mansion of Mrs Menzies. The strictest secresy was enjoined and promised. "Indeed," said the old lady, "I cannot even acquaint my daughter Martha, for she, poor girl, is so unwell that she will not listen to any thing. And it has occurred to me, doctor, as being in some degree fortunate that your presence should be required here, for I wish to consult with you about my daughter's present unhappy state. She does not eat as much as would serve a sparrow, but lies tossing a-bed all day, fetching heavy sighs, and moaning in a most pitiful manner. I sent for Mrs Ogilvie of the Boar's Head, who is skilled in all sorts of complaints, but Martha could not be prevailed on to take one single cup of her vegetable waters."