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- Pickle the Spy - 40/45 -

Brave Admiral Hawke had routed Conflans in Quiberon Bay. Afflavit Deus, and scattered the fleet of France, with the last hope of Charles.

Yet hope never dies in the hearts of exiles, as is proved by the following curious letter from Murray (?). It is impossible to be certain as to the sincerity of Choiseul; the split in the Jacobite party is only too clearly indicated.

From Campbell (probably Murray).

'December 10.

'I delivered your letter this evening and had a long conference with both the Ministers: Mr. Choiseul assured me upon his word of honour that Your R.H. should be inform'd in time before the departure of Mr. de Gouillon, {309a} so that you might go with that embarquement if you thought proper, upon which I interrupted him and told him if they were destined for the Kingdom of Ireland that it would be to no manner of purpose, for I was certain you would not go, and that you had at all times expressly ordered me to tell them so; he continued his conversation and said you should be equally informed when the P. of S. {309b} embarked. I answered as to every project for England that you would not ballance one moment, but that you would not, nor could not in honour enter into any other project but that of going to London, and if once master of that city both Ireland and Scotland would fall of course, as that town was the fountain of all the riches; he then hinted that Guillion's embarkment was not for Ireland, and talked of Scotland.

'I then told him of the message you had received from my brother [Elibank] and the other leading men of the party, in that country, that not a man of consequence would stir unless the debarkment was made at the same time in England, and that every person who pretended the contrary, ought to be regarded as the enemy of your R.H. as well as of France. He then told me that in case you did not choose to go with Mr. de Guillion that it would be necessary to send one with a declaration in your name; I told him I could make no answers to that proposition, as I had never heard you talk of declarations of any sort before you was landed in England, and that you had settled all that matter, with your friends in England and Scotland. He assured me that the intentions of the King and his Ministers were unalterable as to their fixed resolution to serve you, but that they met with difficulties in regard to the transports and flat-bottomed boats which retarded the affair longer than they imagined, and that though they had already spent twenty four million every thing was not yet ready.

'This is as near as I can recollect the purport of his conversation excepting desiring to see him before my return to Your R.H. I afterwards saw your good friend the Marcel [Belleisle] who told me that every thing that depended upon his department was ready, and said pretty near what Mr. de Choiseul had told concerning the delays of the transports, seventeen of which they yet wanted. He assured me it was the thing on earth he desired the most to see you established upon the throne of your Ancestors, and that he would with plesure give you his left arm, rather than it should not succeed: I am perfectly convinced of the sincere intention of the King and Ministers, and that nothing but the interposition of heaven can prevent your success.

'I have not yet seen the P. of S. [Soubise] but shall to-morrow: your Cousin Bethune is greatly attached to you, and has done you great justice in destroying the villanous lyes, and aspersions of some of your false subjects [Clancarty], who by a pretended zeal for you got access to the ministers, and have had the impudence to present memorials as absurd and ridiculous, as their great quality, and immense fortunes they have lost by being attached to your family. I flatter myself you will very soon be convinced of all their infamous low schemes.'

Meanwhile, in all probability, Pickle was waiting to see how matters would fall out. If Conflans beat Hawke, and if Thurot landed in the Western Highlands, THEN Pickle would have rallied to the old flag, Tandem Triumphans, and welcomed gloriously His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Then the despised warrant of a peerage would have come forth, and Lord Glengarry, I conceive, would have hurried to seize the Duke of Newcastle's papers, many of which were of extreme personal interest to himself. But matters chanced otherwise, so Pickle wrote his last extant letter to the English Government

Add. 32,902.

'My Lord [the Duke of Newcastle],--As I am confident your Grace will be at a lose to find out your present Corespondent, it will, I believe, suffice to recall to mind PICKLE, how [who] some time ago had a conference with the young Gentilman whom honest old Vaughan brought once to Clermont to waite of yr. Grace. I find he still retains the same ardent inclination to serve his King and Country, yet, at same time, he bitterly complains that he has been neglected, and nothing done for him of what was promis'd him in the strongest terms, and which he believes had been strickly perform'd, had your most worthy Brother, his great friend and Patron, surviv'd till now. He desires me aquent your Grace that upon a late criticall juncture [November 1759] he was prepairing to take post for London to lay affaires of the greatest moment before his Majesty, but the suden blow given the enemy by Admiral Hack [Hawke] keept him back for that time. But now that he finds that they are still projecting to execute their first frustrated schem, {312} there present plan of operation differing in nothing from the first, but in what regards North Britain. He has certain information of this by verbal Expresses; writting beeing absolutely dischargd for fear of discovery. He desires me aquent your Grace of this, that you may lay the whole before His Majesty.

'If His Majesty's Enemys should once more faile in their favourite scheme of Envasion, this young gentilman [Glengarry] intends to make offer of raising a Regiment of as good men as ever was levied in North Britain, if he gets the Rank of full Colonell, the nomenation of his Officers, and suitable levie Mony. He can be of infinite service in either capacity mentioned in this letter [spy or Colonel], that his Majesty is graciously pleasd to employ him. He begs that this may not be delay'd to be laid before the King, as things may soon turn out very serious. He makes a point with your Grace that this be communicated to no mortall but his Majesty, and he is willing to forfite all pretensions to the Royall favour, if his services at this criticall juncture does not meritt his Majesty's aprobation. If your Grace calls upon him at this time, as he was out of pocket upon further Chants, it will be necessary to remit him a bill payable at sight for whatever little sum is judg'd proper for the present, untill he gives proof of his attachment TO THE BEST OF SOVEREIGNS, and of his reale zeale for the service of his King and Country, against a most treacherous and perfidious Enemy. I have now done my duty, my Lord, reffering the whole manadgement to your Grace, and I beg youl pardon the freedom I have taken as I have the honour to remain at all times

'My Lord, your Grace's Most obedient and most oblidged humble Servt.


'February 19, 1760.

'Mack [make] mention of PICKLE. His Majesty will remember Mr. Pelham did, upon former affairs of great consequence.

'Direction--To ALEXANDER MACKDONELL OF GLENGARY by Foraugustus [Fort Augustus].'

Pickle, as he remarks in one of his artless letters, 'is not of a suspicious temper, but judges of others' candour by his own.' He now carries this honourable freedom so far as to give his own noble name and address. Habemus confitentem reum. Persons more suspicious and less candid will believe that Pickle, in November 1759, was standing to win on both colours. His readiness to sell a regiment of Macdonnells to fight for King George is very worthy of a Highland chief of Pickle's kind.

On December 23, 1761, Alastair Macdonnell of Glengarry died, and Pickle died with him. He had practically ceased to be useful; the world was anticipating Burns's advice:

'Adore the rising sun, And leave a man undone To his fate!'

We have unmasked a character of a kind never popular. Yet, in the government of the world, Pickle served England well. But for him there might have been another highland rising, and more fire and bloodshed. But for him the Royal Family might have perished in a nocturnal brawl. Only one man, Archibald Cameron, died through Pickle's treasons. The Prince with whom he drank, and whom he betrayed, had become hopeless and worthless. The world knows little of its greatest benefactors, and Pickle did good by stealth. Now his shade may or may not 'blush to find it fame,' and to be placed above Murray of Broughton, beside Menteith and Assynt, legendary Ganelons of Scotland.


Conclusion--Charles in 1762--Flight of Miss Walkinshaw--Charles quarrels with France--Remonstrance from Murray--Death of King James-- Charles returns to Rome--His charm--His disappointments--Lochgarry enters the Portuguese service--Charles declines to recognise Miss Walkinshaw--Report of his secret marriage to Miss Walkinshaw--Denied by the lady--Charles breaks with Lumisden--Bishop Forbes--Charles's marriage--The Duchess of Albany'--'All ends in song--The Princesse de Talmond--The end.

With the death of Pickle, the shabby romance of the last Jacobite struggle finds its natural close.

Of Charles we need say little more. Macallester represents him as hanging about the coasts of England in 1761-1762, looking out for favourable landing-places, or sending his valet, Stuart, to scour Paris in search of Miss Walkinshaw. That luckless lady fled from Charles at Bouillon to Paris in July 1760, with her daughter, and found refuge in a convent. As Lord Elcho reports her conversation, Charles was wont to beat her cruelly. For general circulation she

Pickle the Spy - 40/45

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