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contest with the forces immediately sent against them by the Covenanters. Leslie, the brave old soldier, advanced to oppose him. Strachan, with a body of horse, was sent to check his progress. Montrose was suddenly attacked and completely defeated. Strachan, before the fight, began calling his men around him, and informed them that God had given "the rebel and apostate Montrose into their hands." He then gave out a psalm, which they sang, and then they dispersed in successive companies, falling in presently with Montrose and making an easy victory. Montrose had his horse killed under him, and though he got another horse and swam across a rapid river, he fled in such haste as to leave behind him his sword, cloak, and newly-acquired star and garter. In the disguise of a peasant he reached the mountains of Sutherland, and found an asylum in the house of Macleod of Assynt, who had formerly served under him. This base man betrayed him into the hands of his foes.
The Covenanters conducted their noble prisoner in triumph to Edinburgh, where he was exposed to the most atrocious insults. After being conducted through the public streets, bound down on a high bench in a cart constructed for the purpose, with his hat off, the executioner accompanying him, and his officers walking two and two in fetters behind him, he was brought before the Parliament. Loudon, the chancellor, in a violent declamation reproached him with the murders, treasons, and impieties for which he was now to suffer condign punishment. Montrose, who bore all the indignities with the greatest firmness, and looked down with a noble disdain on the rancour of his enemies, boldly replied, that in all his warlike enterprises he was warranted by that commission which he had received from his or their master, against whose lawful authority they had erected their standard; 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 a faithful subject, in whose death the king's commission must be so highly injured and insulted; that, as for himself, he scorned their vindictive fanatical rage, and was only grieved at the contumely offered to that authority by which he acted. He was hanged on a gibbet thirty feet high; his head was afterwards fixed on a spike in the capital, and his limbs sent for exposure in different cities.
The young king hearing the fate of his brave ally and servant, protested
to the Scottish Parliament that he had never authorised him to draw the sword-nay, that he had done so in direct opposition to his express command; that, as for himself, he was ready to comply with all their propositions. Arriving safe in the Frith of Cromarty, before he was allowed to land he was desired to sign the Covenant, for the Covenanters had but little faith in his word. He did so, and was recognized as king. At Dunfermline he wished to append his signature to a new declaration, by which he denounced "popery and prelacy," and asserted that he had no other enemies than those who were the enemies of the Covenant. It was on this occasion that the Rev. Patrick Gillespie said to him:
"Sire, unless in your soul and conscience you are satisfied, beyond all hesitation, of the righteousness of this declaration, do not subscribe to it— no, not for three kingdoms."
"Mr. Gillespie," said the king, "I am satisfied, and will therefore subscribe."
When the news of the young king's reception in Scotland was known in England, active measures were taken to reduce the Covenanters and to banish their chosen sovereign. An army was assembled and the command offered to Fairfax, but declined. Cromwell then consented to accept the command, and immediately commenced his march to the North. The Scotch heard of his advance and David Leslie, with sixty thousand men, prepared to receive him.
On the 22nd of July Cromwell's army crossed the Tweed. They found the whole country through which they marched desolate. It had been laid waste by the Scots to prevent the English obtaining any supplies. The people had fled-all except a few women, who on their knees besought mercy—a report having been circulated that Cromwell had resolved on striking the right hand from every male above sixteen and under sixty, and to pierce with red-hot irons the breast of every woman he could find. It is scarcely necessary to say there was no truth in the rumour, but it was sufficiently terrible—and not without some show of probability, coupled with Cromwell's recent acts in Ireland-to fill the peasantry with alarm and to drive them before him as sheep before wolves. In the twilight of that July night the beacon fires of Scotland were lighted. Fire answered fire and spread through the land the news of Cromwell's coming. The English saw the red light in the sky, and they knew what it portended-they knew that the Scots were rapidly rising-not only to maintain King Charles, but to preserve their nationality-to hold by their Covenant:
that their ancient animosities and rivalry were being quenched, and that a very different sort of work was before them than that in which they had been engaged in Ireland.
The Scottish army, under Leslie, was posted between Edinburgh and Leith, well defended by batteries and entrenchments. Nothing could induce the wary commander to quit this vantage ground, and for a whole month Cromwell found it impossible to draw him from his strong position, Leslie knew that the English army as much exceeded his in discipline and experience as it fell short of it in point of numbers, and prudently
kept within his entrenchments. By skirmishes and petty reconnoitres he endeavoured to animate the spirits of his soldiers; and in these enterprises he was generally successful. His army every day became more numerous and more expert. The young king himself arrived in the camp-not much to the "godly discipline" thereof-and having displayed his courage in a small excursion, engaged the approbation of the soldiers. Cromwell in the meantime was in a disagreeable position. It was plain he would make no easy conquest-he would never fall as "Thor's hammer" on Scotia. There was no chance of his obtaining supplies, for the country
between Leith and Edinburgh had been laid waste. He had to depend on his ships which brought supplies from England; but stormy weather interfered with this arrangement, and there was long delay and much letter writing-much letter writing in a Scriptural vein. Those of the Covenanters' cause, and those of the Independent cause, alike confident that they were the chosen of the Lord and must prevail, sometimes commended one another in prayer to the mercy of the All-Merciful
sometimes denounced one another under Old Testament names; they were both loud in their expression as to the "fear of the Lord," and both kept their powder dry.
The most unfortunate part of the whole affair for Leslie and the Scots, was the presence in the camp of a superabundant amount of the preaching element. The preachers were perfectly satisfied in their own minds that nothing was wanting on Leslie's part but a sudden swoop on the misguided Independents in order to their complete discomfiture. Brave
old Leslie, who had seen much of stern work, was not to be so readily convinced-no, not when special revelations were vouchsafed—or, rather, said to be so-to some of the most excitable preachers in the camp, and victory was assured if a sudden attack were made.
At length Cromwell, fairly exhausted with waiting, made a sudden march in the direction of Stirling, as though he intended to cut off that city from communication with the capital. Leslie put his troops in motion-precisely what Cromwell wished him to do. In language as remarkable for its extravagance in point of fact as well as of style, Carlyle describes Cromwell as "Bathed in the eternal splendours—it is so he walks our dim earth; this man is one of few. He is projected with a terrible force out of the eternities, and in the times and their arenas there is nothing that can withstand him. It is great; to us it is tragic; a thing that should strike us dumb! My brave one! the old noble prophecy is divine; older than Hebrew David; old as the origin of man; and shall, though in wider ways than thou supposed, be fulfilled."
Marching away from his old quarters, Cromwell broke up the camp of Leslie. Hastily the forces were despatched after him. The vanguards came to skirmishing, but the boggy ground prevented a battle. So Cromwell retreated, fired his huts on the Pentlands, and fell back towards Dunbar. The Scots knew he was harassed by sickness, hard pressed for want of supplies; they saw in this retreat an escape into England; and, full of confidence as to the result, Leslie rapidly marched his troops, outstripped Cromwell, and hemmed him in between Dunbar and Doonhill. The ministers in the Scottish camp began to return thanks as for a victory. It was so very plain to them that this Cromwell could not by any means escape them. There was a deep ravine called Cockburn or Coppers path, about forty feet deep and as many wide, with a stream running through it. This separated Oliver from the Scottish army, which lay on Doonhill. On the right of Cromwell's army lay Belhaven Bay, on the left a path leading by Brocksmith House, southward. This pass only was left open, and Leslie determined to secure it. With this object in view, he moved his right wing in that direction—that pass once secured, no pass would be left to the English-nothing but surrender and defeat. Looking through a glass, Cromwell saw the movement of the Scots, divined its purpose, and suddenly cried out, "the Lord hath delivered them into our hands.” He saw that a vigorous attack in the early morning on the right wing of the Scottish army would disarrange all their movements, and probably end