Pickle the Spy
by Andrew Lang
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Transcribed from the 1897 Longmans, Green, and Co. edition by David Price, email

PICKLE THE SPY or The Incognito of Prince Charles

'I knew the Master: on many secret steps of his career I have an authentic memoir in my hand.' THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE


This woful History began in my study of the Pelham Papers in the Additional Manuscripts of the British Museum. These include the letters of Pickle the Spy and of JAMES MOHR MACGREGOR. Transcripts of them were sent by me to Mr. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, for use in a novel, which he did not live to finish. The character of Pickle, indeed, like that of the Master of Ballantrae, is alluring to writers of historical romance. Resisting the temptation to use Pickle as the villain of fiction, I have tried to tell his story with fidelity. The secret, so long kept, of Prince Charles's incognito, is divulged no less by his own correspondence in the Stuart MSS. than by the letters of Pickle.

For Her Majesty's gracious permission to read the Stuart Papers in the library of Windsor Castle, and to engrave a miniature of Prince Charles in the Royal collection, I have respectfully to express my sincerest gratitude.

To Mr. HOLMES, Her Majesty's librarian, I owe much kind and valuable aid.

The Pickle Papers, and many despatches in the State Papers, were examined and copied for me by Miss E. A. IBBS.

In studying the Stuart Papers, I owe much to the aid of Miss VIOLET SIMPSON, who has also assisted me by verifying references from many sources.

It would not be easy to mention the numerous correspondents who have helped me, but it were ungrateful to omit acknowledgment of the kindness of Mr. HORATIO F. BROWN and of Mr. GEORGE T. OMOND.

I have to thank Mr. ALEXANDER PELHAM TROTTER for permission to cite the MS. Letter Book of the exiled Chevalier's secretary, ANDREW LUMISDEN, in Mr. TROTTER'S possession.

Miss MACPHERSON of Cluny kindly gave me a copy of a privately printed Memorial of her celebrated ancestor, and, by CLUNY'S kind permission, I have been allowed to see some letters from his charter chest. Apparently, the more important secret papers have perished in the years of turmoil and exile.

This opportunity may be taken for disclaiming any belief in the imputations against CLUNY conjecturally hazarded by 'NEWTON,' or KENNEDY, in the following pages. The Chief's destitution in France, after a long period of suffering in Scotland, refutes these suspicions, bred in an atmosphere of jealousy and distrust. Among the relics of the family are none of the objects which CHARLES, in 1766-1767, found it difficult to obtain from CLUNY'S representatives for lack of a proper messenger.

To Sir ARTHUR HALKETT, Bart., of Pitfirrane, I am obliged for a view of BALHALDIE'S correspondence with his agent in Scotland.

The Directors of the French Foreign Office Archives courteously permitted Monsieur LEON PAJOT to examine, and copy for me, some of the documents in their charge. These, it will be seen, add but little to our information during the years 1749-1766.

I have remarked, in the proper place, that Mr. MURRAY ROSE has already printed some of Pickle's letters in a newspaper. As Mr. MURRAY ROSE assigned them to JAMES MOHR MACGREGOR, I await with interest his arguments in favour of this opinion in his promised volume of Essays.

The ornament on the cover of this work is a copy of that with which the volumes of Prince CHARLES'S own library were impressed. I owe the stamp to the kindness of Miss WARRENDER of Bruntsfield.

Among printed books, the most serviceable have been Mr. EWALD'S work on Prince Charles, Lord STANHOPE'S History, and Dr. BROWNE'S 'History of the Highlands and Clans.' Had Mr. EWALD explored the Stuart Papers and the Memoirs of d'Argenson, Grimm, de Luynes, Barbier, and the Letters of Madame du Deffand (edited by M. DE LESCURE), with the 'Political Correspondence of Frederick the Great,' little would have been left for gleaners in his track.

I must not forget to thank Mr. and Mrs. BARTELS for researches in old magazines and journals. Mr. BARTELS also examined for me the printed correspondence of Frederick the Great. To the kindness of J. A. ERSKINE CUNNINGHAM, Esq., of Balgownie I owe permission to photograph the portrait of Young Glengarry in his possession.

If I might make a suggestion to historical students of leisure, it is this. The Life of the Old Chevalier (James III.) has never been written, and is well worth writing. My own studies, alas! prove that Prince Charles's character was incapable of enduring misfortune. His father, less brilliant and less popular, was a very different man, and, I think, has everything to gain from an unprejudiced examination of his career. He has certainly nothing to lose.

Since this work was in type the whole of Bishop Forbes's MS., The Lyon in Mourning, has been printed for an Historical Society in Scotland. I was unable to consult the MS. for this book, but it contains, I now find, no addition to the facts here set forth.

November 5, 1896.


Subject of this book—The last rally of Jacobitism hitherto obscure— Nature of the new materials—Information from spies, unpublished Stuart Papers, &c.—The chief spy—Probably known to Sir Walter Scott—'Redgauntlet' cited—'Pickle the Spy'—His position and services—The hidden gold of Loch Arkaig—Consequent treacheries— Character of Pickle—Pickle's nephew—Pickle's portrait—Pickle detected and denounced—To no purpose—Historical summary—Incognito of Prince Charles—Plan of this work.

The latest rally of Jacobitism, with its last romance, so faded and so tarnished, has hitherto remained obscure. The facts on which 'Waverley' is based are familiar to all the world: those on which 'Redgauntlet' rests were but imperfectly known even to Sir Walter Scott. The story of the Forty-five is the tale of Highland loyalty: the story of 1750-1763 is the record of Highland treachery, or rather of the treachery of some Highlanders. That story, now for the first time to be told, is founded on documents never hither to published, or never previously pieced together. The Additional Manuscripts of the British Museum, with relics of the government of Henry Pelham and his brother, the Duke of Newcastle, have yielded their secrets, and given the information of the spies. The Stuart Papers at Windsor (partly published in Browne's 'History of the Highland Clans' and by Lord Stanhope, but mainly virginal of type) fill up the interstices in the Pelham Papers like pieces in a mosaic, and reveal the general design. The letters of British ambassadors at Paris, Dresden, Berlin, Hanover, Leipzig, Florence, St. Petersburg, lend colour and coherence. The political correspondence of Frederick the Great contributes to the effect. A trifle of information comes from the French Foreign Office Archives; French printed 'Memoires' and letters, neglected by previous English writers on the subject, offer some valuable, indeed essential, hints, and illustrate Charles's relations with the wits and beauties of the reign of Louis XV. By combining information from these and other sources in print, manuscript, and tradition, we reach various results. We can now follow and understand the changes in the singular and wretched development of the character of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. We get a curious view of the manners, and a lurid light on the diplomacy of the middle of the eighteenth century. We go behind the scenes of many conspiracies. Above all, we encounter an extraordinary personage, the great, highborn Highland chief who sold himself as a spy to the English Government.

His existence was suspected by Scott, if not clearly known and understood.

In his introduction to 'Redgauntlet,' {3} Sir Walter Scott says that the ministers of George III. 'thought it proper to leave Dr. Cameron's new schemes in concealment (1753), lest by divulging them they had indicated the channel of communication which, it is now well known, they possessed to all the plots of Charles Edward.' To 'indicate' that secret 'channel of communication' between the Government of the Pelhams and the Jacobite conspirators of 1749-1760 is one purpose of this book. Tradition has vaguely bequeathed to us the name of 'Pickle the Spy,' the foremost of many traitors. Who Pickle was, and what he did, a whole romance of prosperous treachery, is now to be revealed and illustrated from various sources. Pickle was not only able to keep the Duke of Newcastle and George II. well informed as to the inmost plots, if not the most hidden movements of Prince Charles, but he could either paralyse a serious, or promote a premature, rising in the Highlands, as seemed best to his English employers. We shall find Pickle, in company with that devoted Jacobite, Lochgarry, travelling through the Highlands, exciting hopes, consulting the chiefs, unburying a hidden treasure, and encouraging the clans to rush once more on English bayonets.

Romance, in a way, is stereotyped, and it is characteristic that the last romance of the Stuarts should be interwoven with a secret treasure. This mass of French gold, buried after Culloden at Loch Arkaig, in one of the most remote recesses of the Highlands, was, to the Jacobites, what the dwarf Andvari's hoard was to the Niflungs, a curse and a cause of discord. We shall see that rivalry for its possession produced contending charges of disloyalty, forgery, and theft among certain of the Highland chiefs, and these may have helped to promote the spirit of treachery in Pickle the Spy. It is probable, though not certain, that he had acted as the agent of Cumberland before he was sold to Henry Pelham, and he was certainly communicating the results of his inquiries in one sense to George II., and, in another sense, to the exiled James III. in Rome. He was betraying his own cousins, and traducing his friends. Pickle is plainly no common spy or 'paltry vidette,' as he words it. Possibly Sir Walter Scott knew who Pickle was: in him Scott, if he had chosen, would have found a character very like Barry Lyndon (but worse), very unlike any personage in the Waverley Novels, and somewhat akin to the Master of Ballantrae. The cool, good-humoured, smiling, unscrupulous villain of high rank and noble lineage; the scoundrel happily unconscious of his own unspeakable infamy, proud and sensitive upon the point of honour; the picturesque hypocrite in religion, is a being whom we do not meet in Sir Walter's romances. In Pickle he had such a character ready made to his hand, but, in the time of Scott, it would have been dangerous, as it is still disagreeable, to unveil this old mystery of iniquity. A friend of Sir Walter's, a man very ready with the pistol, the last, as was commonly said, of the Highland chiefs, was of the name and blood of Pickle, and would have taken up Pickle's feud. Sir Walter was not to be moved by pistols, but not even for the sake of a good story would he hurt the sensibilities of a friend, or tarnish the justly celebrated loyalty of the Highlands.

Now the friend of Scott, the representative of Pickle in Scott's generation, was a Highlander, and Pickle was not only a traitor, a profligate, an oppressor of his tenantry, and a liar, but (according to Jacobite gossip which reached 'King James') a forger of the King's name! Moreover he was, in all probability, one fountain of that reproach, true or false, which still clings to the name of the brave and gentle Archibald Cameron, the brother of Lochiel, whom Pickle brought to the gallows. If we add that, when last we hear of Pickle, he is probably engaged in a double treason, and certainly meditates selling a regiment of his clan, like Hessians, to the Hanoverian Government, it will be plain that his was no story for Scott to tell.

Pickle had, at least, the attraction of being eminently handsome. No statelier gentleman than Pickle, as his faded portrait shows him in full Highland costume, ever trod a measure at Holyrood. Tall, athletic, with a frank and pleasing face, Pickle could never be taken for a traitor and a spy. He seemed the fitting lord of that castellated palace of his race, which, beautiful and majestic in decay, mirrors itself in Loch Oich. Again, the man was brave; for he moved freely in France, England, and Scotland, well knowing that the skian was sharpened for his throat if he were detected. And the most extraordinary fact in an extraordinary story is that Pickle WAS detected, and denounced to the King over the water by Mrs. Archibald Cameron, the widow of his victim. Yet the breach between James and his little Court, on one side, and Prince Charles on the other, was then so absolute that the Prince was dining with the spy, chatting with him at the opera-ball, and presenting him with a gold snuff-box, at about the very time when Pickle's treachery was known in Rome. Afterwards, the knowledge of his infamy came too late, if it came at all. The great scheme had failed; Cameron had fallen, and Frederick of Prussia, ceasing to encourage Jacobitism, had become the ally of England.

These things sound like the inventions of the romancer, but they rest on unimpeachable evidence, printed and manuscript, and chiefly on Pickle's own letters to his King, to his Prince, and to his English employers—we cannot say 'pay-masters,' for PICKLE WAS NEVER PAID! He obtained, indeed, singular advantages, but he seldom or never could wring ready money from the Duke of Newcastle.

To understand Pickle's career, the reluctant reader must endure a certain amount of actual history in minute details of date and place. Every one is acquainted with the brilliant hour of Prince Charles: his landing in Moidart accompanied by only seven men, his march on Edinburgh, his success at Prestonpans, the race to Derby, the retreat to Scotland, the gleam of victory at Falkirk, the ruin of Culloden, the long months of wanderings and distress, the return to France in 1746. Then came two years of baffled intrigues; next, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle insisted on the Prince's expulsion from France; last, he declined to withdraw. On December 10, 1748, he was arrested at the opera, was lodged in the prison of Vincennes, was released, and made his way to the Pope's city of Avignon, arriving there in the last days of December 1748. On February 28, 1749, he rode out of Avignon, and disappeared for many months from the ken of history. For nearly eighteen years he preserved his incognito, vaguely heard of here and there in England, France, Germany, Flanders, but always involved in mystery. On that mystery, impenetrable to his father, Pickle threw light enough for the purposes of the English Government, but not during the darkest hours of Charles's incognito.

'Le Prince Edouard,' says Barbier in his journal for February 1750, 'fait l'admiration et la curiosite de l'Europe.' This work, alas! is not likely to add to the admiration entertained for the unfortunate adventurer, but any surviving curiosity as to the Prince's secret may be assuaged. In the days of 1749-1750, before Pickle's revelations begin, the drafts of the Prince's memoranda, notes, and angry love- letters, preserved in Her Majesty's Library, enable us to follow his movements. On much that is obscurely indicated in scarcely decipherable scrawls, light is thrown by the French memoirs of that age. The names of Madame de Talmond, Madame d'Aiguillon, and the celebrated Montesquieu, are beacons in the general twilight. The memoirs also explain, what was previously inexplicable, the motives of Charles in choosing a life 'in a hole of a rock,' as he said after the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748). It is necessary, however, to study the internal feuds of the Jacobites at this period, and these are illuminated by the Stuart Papers, the letters of James and his ministers.

The plan of our narrative, therefore, will be arranged in the following manner. First, we sketch the character of Prince Charles in boyhood, during his Scottish expedition, and as it developed in cruelly thwarting circumstances between 1746 and 1749. In illustrating his character the hostile parties within the Jacobite camp must be described and defined. From February 1749 to September 1750 (when he visited London), we must try to pierce the darkness that has been more than Egyptian. We can, at least, display the total ignorance of Courts and diplomatists as to Charles's movements before Pickle came to their assistance, and we discover a secret which they ought to have known.

After the date 1752 we give, as far as possible, the personal history of Pickle before he sold himself, and we unveil his motives for his villany. Then we display Pickle in action, we select from his letters, we show him deep in the Scottish, English, and continental intrigues. He spoils the Elibank Plot, he reveals the hostile policy of Frederick the Great, he leads on to the arrest of Archibald Cameron, he sows disunion, he traduces and betrays. He finally recovers his lands, robs his tenants, dabbles (probably) in the French scheme of invasion (1759), offers further information, tries to sell a regiment of his clan, and dies unexposed in 1761.

Minor spies are tracked here and there, as Rob Roy's son, James Mohr Macgregor, Samuel Cameron, and Oliver Macallester. English machinations against the Prince's life and liberty are unveiled. His utter decadence is illustrated, and we leave him weary, dishonoured, and abandoned.

'A sair, sair altered man Prince Charlie cam' hame'

to Rome; and the refusal there of even a titular kingship.

The whole book aims chiefly at satisfying the passion of curiosity. However unimportant a secret may be, it is pleasant to know what all Europe was once vainly anxious to discover. In the revelation of manners, too, and in tracing the relations of famous wits and beauties with a person then so celebrated as Prince Charles, there is a certain amount of entertainment which may excuse some labour of research. Our history is of next to no political value, but it revives as in a magic mirror somewhat dim, certain scenes of actual human life. Now and again the mist breaks, and real passionate faces, gestures of living men and women, are beheld in the clear- obscure. We see Lochgarry throw his dirk after his son, and pronounce his curse. We mark Pickle furtively scribbling after midnight in French inns. We note Charles hiding in the alcove of a lady's chamber in a convent. We admire the 'rich anger' of his Polish mistress, and the sullen rage of Lord Hyndford, baffled by 'the perfidious Court' of Frederick the Great. The old histories emerge into light, like the writing in sympathetic ink on the secret despatches of King James.


Prince Charles—Contradictions in his character—Extremes of bad and good—Evolution of character—The Prince's personal advantages— Common mistake as to the colour of his eyes—His portraits from youth to age—Descriptions of Charles by the Duc de Liria; the President de Brosses; Gray; Charles's courage—The siege of Gaeta—Story of Lord Elcho—The real facts—The Prince's horse shot at Culloden—Foolish fables of David Hume confuted—Charles's literary tastes—His clemency—His honourable conduct—Contrast with Cumberland—His graciousness—His faults—Charge of avarice—Love of wine—Religious levity—James on Charles's faults—An unpleasant discovery—Influence of Murray of Broughton—Rapid decline of character after 1746— Temper, wine, and women—Deep distrust of James's Court—Rupture with James—Divisions among Jacobites—King's men and Prince's men— Marischal, Kelly, Lismore, Clancarty—Anecdote of Clancarty and Braddock—Clancarty and d'Argenson—Balhaldie—Lally Tollendal—The Duke of York—His secret flight from Paris—'Insigne Fourberie'— Anxiety of Charles—The fatal cardinal's hat—Madame de Pompadour— Charles rejects her advances—His love affairs—Madame de Talmond— Voltaire's verses on her—Her scepticism in religion—Her husband— Correspondence with Montesquieu—The Duchesse d'Aiguillon—Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle—Charles refuses to retire to Fribourg—The gold plate—Scenes with Madame de Talmond—Bulkeley's interference—Arrest of Charles—The compasses—Charles goes to Avignon—His desperate condition—His policy—Based on a scheme of d'Argenson—He leaves Avignon—He is lost to sight and hearing.

'Charles Edward Stuart,' says Lord Stanhope, 'is one of those characters that cannot be portrayed at a single sketch, but have so greatly altered as to require a new delineation at different periods.' {12a} Now he 'glitters all over like the star which they tell you appeared at his nativity,' and which still shines beside him, Micat inter omnes, on a medal struck in his boyhood. {12b} Anon he is sunk in besotted vice, a cruel lover, a solitary tippler, a broken man. We study the period of transition.

Descriptions of his character vary between the noble encomium written in prison by Archibald Cameron, the last man who died for the Stuarts, and the virulent censures of Lord Elcho and Dr. King. Veterans known to Sir Walter Scott wept at the mention of the Prince's name; yet, as early as the tenth year after Prestonpans, his most devoted adherent, Henry Goring, left him in an angry despair. Nevertheless, the character so variously estimated, so tenderly loved, so loathed, so despised, was one character; modified, swiftly or slowly, as its natural elements developed or decayed under the various influences of struggle, of success, of long endurance, of hope deferred, and of bitter disappointment. The gay, kind, brave, loyal, and clement Prince Charlie became the fierce, shabby, battered exile, homeless, and all but friendless. The change, of course, was not instantaneous, but gradual; it was not the result of one, but of many causes. Even out of his final degradation, Charles occasionally speaks with his real voice: his inborn goodness of heart, remarked before his earliest adventures, utters its protest against the self he has become; just as, on the other hand, long ere he set his foot on Scottish soil, his father had noted his fatal inclination to wine and revel.

The processes in this change of character, the events, the temptations, the trials under which Charles became an altered man, have been very slightly studied, and, indeed, have been very obscurely known. Even Mr. Ewald, the author of the most elaborate biography of the Prince, {13} neglected some important French printed sources, while manuscript documents, here for the first time published, were not at his command. The present essay is itself unavoidably incomplete, for of family papers bearing on the subject many have perished under the teeth of time, and in one case, of rats, while others are not accessible to the writer. Nevertheless, it is hoped that this work elucidates much which has long been veiled in the motives, conduct, and secret movements of Charles during the years between 1749 and the death, in 1766, of his father, the Old Chevalier. Charles then emerged from a retirement of seventeen years; the European game of Hide and Seek was over, and it is not proposed to study the Prince in the days of his manifest decline, and among the disgraces of his miserable marriage. His 'incognito' is our topic; the period of 'deep and isolated enterprise' which puzzled every Foreign Office in Europe, and practically only ended, as far as hope was concerned, with the break-up of the Jacobite party in 1754- 1756, or rather with Hawke's defeat of Conflans in 1759.

Ours is a strange and melancholy tale of desperate loyalties, and of a treason almost unparalleled for secrecy and persistence. We have to do with the back-stairs of diplomacy, with spies and traitors, with cloak and sword, with blabbing servants, and inquisitive ambassadors, with disguise and discovery, with friends more staunch than steel, or weaker than water, with petty jealousies, with the relentless persecution of a brave man, and with the consequent ruin of a gallant life.

To understand the psychological problem, the degradation of a promising personality, it is necessary to glance rapidly at what we know of Charles before his Scottish expedition.

To begin at the beginning, in physical qualities the Prince was dowered by a kind fairy. He was firmly though slimly built, of the best stature for strength and health. 'He had a body made for war,' writes Lord Elcho, who hated him. The gift of beauty (in his case peculiarly fatal, as will be seen) had not been denied to him. His brow was high and broad, his nose shapely, his eyes of a rich dark brown, his hair of a chestnut hue, golden at the tips. Though his eyes are described as blue, both in 1744 by Sir Horace Mann, and in later life (1770) by an English lady in Rome, though Lord Stanhope and Mr. Stevenson agree in this error, brown was really their colour. {15a} Charles inherited the dark eyes of his father, 'the Black Bird,' and of Mary Stuart. This is manifest from all the original portraits and miniatures, including that given by the Prince to his secretary, Murray of Broughton, now in my collection. In boyhood Charles's face had a merry, mutinous, rather reckless expression, as portraits prove. Hundreds of faces like his may be seen at the public schools; indeed, Charles had many 'doubles,' who sometimes traded on the resemblance, sometimes, wittingly or unwittingly, misled the spies that constantly pursued him. {15b} His adherents fondly declared that his natural air of distinction, his princely bearing, were too marked to be concealed in any travesty. Yet no man has, in disguises of his person, been more successful. We may grant 'the grand air' to Charles, but we must admit that he could successfully dissemble it.

About 1743, when a number of miniatures of the Prince were done in Italy for presentation to adherents, Charles's boyish mirth, as seen in these works of art, has become somewhat petulant, if not arrogant, but he is still 'a lad with the bloom of a lass.' A shade of aspiring melancholy marks a portrait done in France, just before the expedition to Scotland. Le Toque's fine portrait of the Prince in armour (1748) shows a manly and martial but rather sinister countenance. A plaster bust, done from a life mask, if not from Le Moine's bust in marble (1750), was thought the best likeness by Dr. King. This bust was openly sold in Red Lion Square, and, when Charles visited Dr. King in September 1750, the Doctor's servant observed the resemblance. I have never seen a copy of this bust, and the medal struck in 1750, an intaglio of the same date, and a very rare profile in the collection of the Duke of Atholl, give a similar idea of the Prince as he was at thirty. A distinguished artist, who outlined Charles's profile and applied it to another of Her present Majesty in youth, tells me that they are almost exact counterparts.

Next we come to the angry eyes and swollen features of Ozias Humphreys's miniature, in the Duke of Atholl's collection, and in his sketch published in the 'Lockhart Papers' (1776), and, finally, to the fallen weary old face designed by Gavin Hamilton. Charles's younger brother, Henry, Duke of York, was a prettier boy, but it is curious to mark the prematurely priestly and 'Italianate' expression of the Duke in youth, while Charles still seems a merry lad. Of Charles in boyhood many anecdotes are told. At the age of two or three he is said to have been taken to see the Pope in his garden, and to have refused the usual marks of reverence. Walton, the English agent in Florence, reports an outbreak of ferocious temper in 1733. {17a} Though based on gossip, the story seems to forebode the later excesses of anger. Earlier, in 1727, the Duc de Liria, a son of Marshal Berwick, draws a pretty picture of the child when about seven years old:-

'The King of England did not wish me to leave before May 4, and I was only too happy to remain at his feet, not merely on account of the love and respect I have borne him all my life, but also because I was never weary of watching the Princes, his sons. The Prince of Wales was now six and a half, and, besides his great beauty, was remarkable for dexterity, grace, and almost supernatural cleverness. Not only could he read fluently, but he knew the doctrines of the Christian faith as well as the master who had taught him. He could ride; could fire a gun; and, more surprising still, I have seen him take a crossbow and kill birds on the roof, and split a rolling ball with a shaft, ten times in succession. He speaks English, French, and Italian perfectly, and altogether he is the most ideal Prince I have ever met in the course of my life.

'The Duke of York, His Majesty's second son, is two years old, and a prodigy of beauty and strength.' {17b}

Gray, certainly no Jacobite, when at Rome with Horace Walpole speaks very kindly of the two gay young Princes. He sneers at their melancholy father, of whom Montesquieu writes, 'ce Prince a une bonne physiononie et noble. Il paroit triste, pieux.' {18a} Young Charles was neither pious nor melancholy.

Of Charles at the age of twenty, the President de Brosses (the author of 'Les Dieux Fetiches') speaks as an unconcerned observer. 'I hear from those who know them both thoroughly that the eldest has far higher worth, and is much more beloved by his friends; that he has a kind heart and a high courage; that he feels warmly for his family's misfortunes, and that if some day he does not retrieve them, it will not be for want of intrepidity.' {18b}

Charles's gallantry when under fire as a mere boy, at the siege of Gaeta (1734), was, indeed, greatly admired and generally extolled. {18c} His courage has been much more foolishly denied by his enemies than too eagerly applauded by friends who had seen him tried by every species of danger.

Aspersions have been thrown on Charles's personal bravery; it may be worth while to comment on them. The story of Lord Elcho's reproaching the Prince for not heading a charge of the second line at Culloden, has unluckily been circulated by Sir Walter Scott. On February 9, 1826, Scott met Sir James Stuart Denham, whose father was out in the Forty-five, and whose uncle was the Lord Elcho of that date. Lord Elcho wrote memoirs, still unpublished, but used by Mr. Ewald in his 'Life of the Prince.' Elcho is a hostile witness: for twenty years he vainly dunned Charles for a debt of 1,5001. According to Sir James Stuart Denham, Elcho asked Charles to lead a final charge at Culloden, retrieve the battle, or die sword in hand. The Prince rode off the field, Elcho calling him 'a damned, cowardly Italian—.'

No such passage occurs in Elcho's diary. He says that, after the flight, he found Charles, in the belief that he had been betrayed, anxious only for his Irish officers, and determined to go to France, not to join the clans at Ruthven. Elcho most justly censured and resolved 'never to have anything more to do with him,' a broken vow! {19a} As a matter of fact, Sir Robert Strange saw Charles vainly trying to rally the Highlanders, and Sir Stuart Thriepland of Fingask gives the same evidence. {19b}

In his seclusion during 1750, Charles wrote a little memoir, still unpublished, about his Highland wanderings. In this he says that he was 'led off the field by those about him,' when the clans broke at Culloden. 'The Prince then changed his horse, his own having been wounded by a musket-ball in the shoulder.' {20a}

The second-hand chatter of Hume, in his letter to Sir John Pringle (February 13, 1773), is unworthy of serious attention.

Helvetius told Hume that his house at Paris had sheltered the Prince in the years following his expulsion from France, in 1748. He called Charles 'the most unworthy of mortals, insomuch that I have been assured, when he went down to Nantz to embark on his expedition to Scotland, he took fright and refused to go on board; and his attendants, thinking the matter gone too far, and that they would be affronted for his cowardice, carried him in the night time into the ship, pieds et mains lies.'

The sceptical Hume accepts this absurd statement without even asking, or at least without giving, the name of Helvetius's informant. The adventurer who insisted on going forward when, at his first landing in Scotland, even Sir Thomas Sheridan, with all the chiefs present, advised retreat, cannot conceivably have been the poltroon of Hume's myth. Even Hume's correspondent, Sir John Pringle, was manifestly staggered by the anecdote, and tells Hume that another of his fables is denied by the very witness to whom Hume appealed. {20b} Hume had cited Lord Holdernesse for the story that Charles's presence in London in 1753 (1750 seems to be meant) was known at the time to George II. Lord Holdernesse declared that there was nothing in the tale given by Hume on his authority! That Charles did not join the rallied clans at Ruthven after Culloden was the result of various misleading circumstances, not of cowardice. Even after 1746 he constantly carried his life in his hand, not only in expeditions to England (and probably to Scotland and Ireland), but in peril from the daggers of assassins, as will later be shown.

High-spirited and daring, Charles was also hardy. In Italy he practised walking without stockings, to inure his feet to long marches: he was devoted to boar-hunting, shooting, and golf. {21a} He had no touch of Italian effeminacy, otherwise he could never have survived his Highland distresses. In travelling he was swift, and incapable of fatigue. 'He has,' said early observer, 'THE HABIT OF KEEPING A SECRET.' Many secrets, indeed, he kept so well that history is still baffled by them, as diplomatists were perplexed between 1749 and 1766. {21b}

We may discount Murray of Broughton's eulogies Charles's Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, and his knowledge of history and philosophy, though backed by the Jesuit Cordara. {21c} Charles's education had been interrupted by quarrels between his parents about Catholic or Protestant tutors. His cousin and governor, Sir Thomas Sheridan (a descendant of James II.), certainly did not teach him to spell; his style in French and English is often obscure, and, when it is clear, we know not whether he was not inspired by some more literary adviser. In matters of taste he was fond of music and archaeology, and greatly addicted to books. De Brosses, however, considered him 'less cultivated than Princes should be at his age,' and d'Argenson says that his knowledge was scanty and that he had little conversation. A few of his books, the morocco tooled with the Prince of Wales's feathers, remain, but not enough to tell us much about his literary tastes. On these, however, we shall give ample information. In Paris, after Culloden, he bought Macchiavelli's works, probably in search of practical hints on state-craft. In spite of a proclamation by Charles, which Montesquieu applauded, he certainly had no claim to a seat in the French Academy, which Montesquieu playfully offered to secure for him.

In brief, Charles was a spirited, eager boy, very capable of patience, intensely secretive, and, as he showed in 1745-1746, endowed with a really extraordinary clemency, and in one regard, where his enemies were concerned, with a sense of honour most unusual in his generation. His care for the wounded, after Prestonpans, is acknowledged by the timid and Whiggish Home, in his 'History of the Rebellion,' and is very warmly and gracefully expressed in a letter to his father, written at Holyrood.' {23a} He could not be induced to punish miscreants who attempted his life and snapped pistols in his face. He could hardly be compelled to retort to the English offer of 30,0001. for his head by issuing a similar proclamation about 'the Elector.' 'I smiled and created it' (the proclamation of a reward of 30,000l. for his head) 'with the disdain it deserved, upon which they' (the Highlanders) 'flew into a violent rage, and insisted upon my doing the same by him.' This occurs in a letter from Charles to James, September 10, 1745, dated from Perth. A copy is found among Bishop Forbes's papers. Here Charles deplores the cruelties practised under Charles II. and James II., and the consequent estrangement of the Duke of Argyll. {23b}

In brief, the contest between Charles and Cumberland was that of a civilised and chivalrous commander against a foe as treacherous and cruel as a Huron or an Iroquois. On this point there is no possibility of doubt. The English Government offered a vast reward for Charles, dead or alive. The soldiers were told significantly, by Cumberland, that he did not want prisoners. On the continent assassins lurked for the Prince, and ambassadors urged the use of personal violence. Meanwhile the Prince absolutely forbade even a legitimate armed attack directed mainly against his enemy, then red- handed from the murder of the wounded.

With this loyalty to his foes, with this clemency to enemies in his power, Charles certainly combined a royal grace, and could do handsome things handsomely. Thus, in 1745, some of the tenants of Oliphant of Gask would not don the white cockade at his command. He therefore 'laid an arrest or inhibition on their corn-fields.' Charles, finding the grain hanging dead-ripe, as he marched through Perthshire, inquired the cause, and when he had learned it, broke the 'taboo' by cutting some ears with his sword, or by gathering them and giving them to his horse, saving that the farmers might now, by his authority, follow his example and break the inhibition. {24a}

Making every allowance for an enthusiasm of loyalty on the part of the narrators in Bishop Forbes's MS. 'Lyon in Mourning' (partly published by Robert Chambers in 'Jacobite Memoirs' {24b}), it is certain that the courage, endurance, and gay content of the Prince in his Highland wanderings deserve the high praise given by Smollett. Thus, in many ways we see the elements of a distinguished and attractive character in Charles. His enemies, like the renegade Dr. King, of St. Mary's Hall (ob. 1763), in his posthumous 'Anecdotes,' accused the Prince of avarice. He would borrow money from a lady, says King, while he had plenty of his own; he neglected those who had ruined themselves for his sake. Henry Goring accused the Prince of shabbiness to his face, but assuredly he who insisted on laying down money on the rocks of a deserted fishers' islet to pay for some dry fish eaten there by himself and his companions—he who gave liberally to gentle and simple out of the treasure buried near Loch Arkaig, who refused a French pension for himself, and asked favours only for his friends—afforded singular proofs of Dr. King's charge of selfish greed. The fault grew on him later. After breaking with the French Court in 1748, Charles had little or nothing of his own to give away. His Sobieski jewels he had pawned for the expenses of the war, having no heart to wear them, he said, 'on this side of the water.' He was often in actual need, though we may not accept d'Argenson's story of how he was once seen selling his pistols to a gun-maker. {25a} If ever he was a miser, that vice fixed itself upon him in his utter moral ruin.

Were there, then, no signs in his early life of the faults which grew so rapidly when hope was lost? There were such signs. As early as 1742, James had observed in Charles a slight inclination to wine and gaiety, and believed that his companions, especially Francis Strickland, {25b} were setting him against his younger brother, the Duke of York, who had neither the health nor the disposition to be a roysterer. {26a}

Again, on February 3, 1747, James recurs, in a long letter, to what passed in 1742, 'because that is the foundation, and I may say the key, of all that has followed.' Now in 1742 Murray of Broughton paid his first visit to Rome, and was fascinated by Charles. This unhappy man, afterwards the Judas of the cause, was unscrupulous in private life in matters of which it is needless to speak more fully. He was, or gave himself the air of being, a very stout Protestant. James employed him, but probably liked him little. It is to be gathered, from James's letter of February 3, 1747, that he suspected Charles of listening to advice, probably from Murray, about his changing his religion. 'You cannot forget how you were prevailed upon to speak to your brother' (the devout Duke of York) 'on very nice and delicate subjects, and that without saying the least thing to me, though we lived in the same house . . . You were then much younger than you are now, and therefore could be more easily led by specious arguments and pretences. . . . It will, to be sure, have been represented to you that our religion is a great prejudice to our interest, but that it may in some measure be remedied by a certain free way of thinking and acting.' {26b}

In 1749 James made a disagreeable discovery, which he communicated to Lord Lismore. A cassette, or coffer, belonging to Charles, had, apparently, been left in Paris, and, after many adventures on the road, was brought to Rome by the French ambassador. James opened it, and found that it contained letters 'from myself and the Queen.' But it also offered proof that the Prince had carried on a secret correspondence with England, long before he left Rome in 1744. Probably his adherents wished James to resign in his favour. {27a}

As to religion, Dr. King admits that Charles was no bigot, and d'Argenson contrasted his disengaged way of treating theology with the exaggerated devoutness of the Duke of York. Even during the march into England, Lord Elcho told an inquirer that the Prince's religion 'was still to seek.' Assuredly he would never make shipwreck on the Stuart fidelity to Catholicism. All this was deeply distressing to the pious James, and all this dated from 1742, that is, from the time of Murray of Broughton's visit to Rome. Indifference to religious strictness was, even then, accompanied by a love of wine, in some slight degree. Already, too, a little rift in the friendship of the princely brothers was apparent; there were secrets between them which Henry must have communicated to James.

As for the fatal vice of drink, it is hinted at on April 15, 1747, by an anonymous Paris correspondent of Lord Dunbar's. Charles had about him 'an Irish cordelier,' one Kelly, whom he employed as a secretary. Kelly is accused of talking contemptuously about James. 'It were to be wished that His Royal Highness would forbid that friar his apartment, because he passes for a notorious drunkard . . . and His Royal Highness's character, in point of sobriety, has been a little blemished on this friar's account.' {28a}

The cold, hunger, and fatigue of the Highland distresses had, no doubt, often prompted recourse to the national dram of whiskey, and Charles would put a bottle of brandy to his lips 'without ceremony,' says Bishop Forbes. The Prince on one occasion is said to have drunk the champion 'bowlsman' of the Islands under the table. {28b}

What had been a jovial feast became a custom, a consolation, and a curse, while there is reason, as has been seen, to suppose that Charles, quite early in life, showed promise of intemperance. In happier circumstances these early tastes might never have been developed into a positive disease. James himself, in youth, had not been a pattern of strict sobriety, but later middle age found him almost ascetic.

We have sketched a character endowed with many fine qualities, and capable of winning devoted affection. We now examine the rapid decline of a nature originally noble.

Returned from Scotland in 1746, Prince Charles brought with him a head full of indigested romance, a heart rich in chimerical expectations. He now prided himself on being a plain hardy mountaineer. He took a line of his own; he concealed his measures from the spy-ridden Court of his father in Rome; he quarrelled with his brother, the Duke of York, when the Duke accepted a cardinal's hat. He broke violently with the French king, who would not aid him. He sulked at Avignon. He sought Spanish help, which was refused. He again became the centre of fashion and of disaffection in Paris. Ladies travelled from England merely to see him in his box at the theatre. Princesses and duchesses 'pulled caps for him.' Naturally cold (as his enemies averred) where women were concerned, he was now beleaguered, besieged, taken by storm by the fair. He kept up the habit of drinking which had been noted in him even before his expedition to Scotland. He allowed his old boyish scepticism (caused by a mixed Protestant and Catholic education) to take the form of studied religious indifference. After defying and being expelled by Louis XV., he adopted (what has never, perhaps, been observed) the wild advice of d'Argenson ('La Bete,' and Louis's ex- minister of foreign affairs), he betook himself to a life of darkling adventures, to a hidden and homeless exile. In many of his journeys he found Pickle in his path, and Pickle finally made his labours vain. The real source of all this imbroglio, in addition to an exasperated daring and a strangely secretive temperament, was a deep, well-grounded mistrust of the people employed by his father, the old 'King over the water.' Whatever James knew was known in London by next mail. Charles was aware of this, and was not aware that his own actions were almost as successfully spied upon and reported. He therefore concealed his plans and movements from James, and even— till Pickle came on the scene—from Europe and from England. The result of his reticence was an irremediable rupture between 'the King and the Prince of Wales—over the water,' an incurable split in the Jacobite camp.

The general outline here sketched must now be filled up in detail. The origo mali was the divisions among the Jacobites. Ever since 1715 these had existed and multiplied. Mar was thought to be a traitor. Atterbury, in exile, suspected O'Brien (Lord Lismore). The Earl Marischal and Kelly {30a} were set against James's ministers, Lord Sempil, Lord Lismore, and Balhaldie, the exiled chief of the Macgregors. Lord Dunbar (Murray, brother of Lord Mansfield) was in James's disgrace at Avignon. Sempil, Balhaldie, Lismore were 'the King's party,' opposed to Marischal, Kelly, Sheridan, Lally Tollendal, 'the Prince's party.' Each sect inveighed against the other in unmeasured terms of reproach. This division widened when Charles was in France, just before the expedition to Scotland.

One of James's agents in Paris, Lord Sempil, writes to him on July 5, 1745, with warnings against the Prince's counsellors, especially Sir Thomas Sheridan (Charles's governor, and left-handed cousin) and Kelly. They, with Lally Tollendal and others, arranged the descent on Scotland without the knowledge of James or Sempil, whom Charles and his party bitterly distrusted, as they also distrusted Lord Lismore (O'Brien), James's other agent. While the Prince was in Scotland (1745-1746), even before Prestonpans, the Jacobite affairs in France were perplexed by the action of Lismore, Sempil, and Balhaldie, acting for James, while the old Earl Marischal (who had been in the rising of 1715, and the Glenshiel affair of 1719) acted for the Prince. With the Earl Marischal was, for some time, Lord Clancarty, of whom Sempil speaks as 'a very brave and worthy man.' {31a} On the other hand, Oliver Macallester, the spy, describes Clancarty, with whom he lived, as a slovenly, drunken, blaspheming rogue, one of whose eyes General Braddock had knocked out with a bottle in a tavern brawl! Clancarty gave himself forth as a representative of the English Jacobites, but d'Argenson, in his 'Memoires,' says he could produce no names of men of rank in the party except his own. D'Argenson was pestered by women, priests, and ragged Irish adventurers. In September 1745, the Earl Marischal and Clancarty visited d'Argenson, then foreign minister of Louis XV. in the King's camp in Flanders. They asked for aid, and the scene, as described by the spy Macallester, on Clancarty's information, was curious. D'Argenson taunted the Lord Marischal with not being at Charles's side in Scotland. To the slovenly Clancarty he said, 'Sir, your wig is ill-combed. Would you like to see my perruquier? He manages wigs very well.' Clancarty, who wore 'an ordinary black tie- wig,' jumped up, saying in English, 'Damn the fellow! He is making his diversion of us.' {32a} The Lord Marischal was already on bad personal terms with Charles. Clancarty was a ruffian, d'Argenson was the adviser who suggested Charles's hidden and fugitive life after 1748. The singular behaviour of the Earl Marischal in 1751-1754 will afterwards be illustrated by the letters of Pickle, who drew much of his information from the unsuspicious old ambassador of Frederick the Great to the Court of Versailles. It is plain that the Duke of Ormonde was right when he said that 'too many people are meddling in your Majesty's affairs with the French Court at this juncture' (November 15, 1745). The Duke of York, Charles's brother, was on the seaboard of France in autumn 1745. At Arras he met the gallant Chevalier Wogan, who had rescued his mother from prison at Innspruck. {32b} Clancarty, Lord Marischal, and Lally Tollendal were pressing for a French expedition to start in aid of Charles. Sempil, Balhaldie, Lismore, were intriguing and interfering. Voltaire wrote a proclamation for Charles to issue. An expedition was arranged, troops and ships were gathered at Boulogne. Swedes were to join from Gothenburg. On Christmas Eve, 1745, nothing was ready, and the secret leaked out. A million was sent to Scotland; the money arrived too late; we shall hear more of it. {33a} The Duke of York, though he fought well at Antwerp, was kneeling in every shrine, and was in church when the news of Culloden was brought to him. This information he gave, in the present century, to one of the Stair family. {33b} The rivalries and enmities went on increasing and multiplying into cross-divisions after Charles made his escape to France in August 1746. He was filled with distrust of his father's advisers; his own were disliked by James. The correspondence of Horace Mann, and of Walton, an English agent in Florence, shows that England received all intelligence sent to James from Paris, and knew all that passed in James's cabinet in Rome. {33c} The Abbe Grant was suspected of being the spy.

Among so many worse than doubtful friends, Charles, after 1746, took his own course; even his father knew little or nothing of his movements. Between his departure from Avignon (February 1749) and the accession of Pickle to the Hanoverian side (Autumn 1749 or 1750), Charles baffled every Foreign Office in Europe. Indeed, Pickle was of little service till 1751 or 1752. Curious light on Charles's character, and on the entangled quarrels of the Jacobites, is cast by d'Argenson's 'Memoires.' In Spring, 1747, the Duke of York disappeared from Paris, almost as cleverly as Charles himself could have done. D'Argenson thus describes his manoeuvre. 'He fled from Paris with circumstances of distinguished treachery' (insigne fourberie) towards his brother, the Prince. He invited Charles to supper; his house was brilliantly lighted up; all his servants were in readiness; but HE had made his escape by five o'clock in the afternoon, aided by Cardinal Tencin. His Governor, the Chevalier Graeme, was not in the secret. The Prince waited for him till midnight, and was in a mortal anxiety. He believed that the English attempts to kidnap or assassinate himself had been directed against his brother. At last, after three days, he received a letter from the Duke of York, 'explaining his fatal design' to accept a cardinal's hat. 'Prince Charles is determined never to return to Rome, BUT RATHER TO TAKE REFUGE IN SOME HOLE IN A ROCK.'

Charles, in fact, saw that, if he was to succeed in England, he could not have too little connection with Rome. D'Argenson describes his brother Henry as 'Italian, superstitious, a rogue, avaricious, fond of ease, and jealous of the Prince.' Cardinal Tencin, he says, and Lord and Lady Lismore, have been bribed by England to wheedle Henry into the cardinalate, 'which England desires more than anything in the world.' Charles expressed the same opinion in an epigram. Lady Lismore, for a short time believed to be the mistress of Louis XV., was deeply suspected. Whatever may be the truth of these charges, M. de Puysieux, an enemy of Charles, succeeded at the Foreign Office to d'Argenson, who had a queer sentimental liking for the Prince. Cardinal Tencin was insulted, and was hostile; the Lismores were absolutely estranged, if not treacherous; there was a quarrel between James and Henry in Rome, and Charles, in Paris. {35a} Such was the state of affairs at the end of 1747, while Pickle was still a prisoner in the Tower of London, engaged, he tells us, in acts of charity towards his fellow-captives!

Meanwhile Charles's private conduct demands a moment's attention. Madame de Pompadour was all powerful at Court. {35b} This was, therefore, a favourable moment for Charles, in a chivalrous affection for the injured French Queen (his dead mother's kinswoman), to insult the reigning favourite. Madame de Pompadour sent him billets on that thick smooth vellum paper of hers, sealed with the arms of France. The Prince tossed them into the fire and made no answer; it is Pickle who gives us this information. Maria Theresa later stooped to call Madame de Pompadour her cousin. Charles was prouder or less politic; afterwards he stooped like Maria Theresa.

For his part, says d'Argenson, the Prince 'now amused himself with love affairs. Madame de Guemene almost ravished him by force; they have quarrelled, after a ridiculous scene; he is living now with the Princesse de Talmond. He is full of fury, and wishes in everything to imitate Charles XII. of Sweden and stand a siege in his house like Charles XII. at Bender.' This was in anticipation of arrest, after the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, in which his expulsion from France was one of the conditions. This Princesse de Talmond, as we shall see, was the unworthy Flora Macdonald of Charles in his later wanderings, his protectress, and, unlike Flora, his mistress. She was not young; Madame d'Aiguillon calls her vieille femme in a curious play, 'La Prison du Prince Charles Edouard Stuart,' written by d'Argenson in imitation of Shakespeare. {36a} The Princesse, nee Marie Jablonowski, a cousin of the Queen of France and of Charles, married Anne Charles Prince de Talmond, of the great house of La Trimouille, in 1730. She must have been nearly forty in 1749, and some ten years older than her lover.

We shall later, when Charles is concealed by the Princesse de Talmond, present the reader with her 'portrait' by the mordant pen of Madame du Deffand. Here Voltaire's rhymed portrait may be cited:

Les dieux, en la donnant naissance Aux lieux par la Saxe envahis, Lui donnerent pour recompense Le gout qu'on ne trouve qu'en France, Et l'esprit de tous les pays.

The Princesse, who frequented the Philosophes, appears to have encouraged Charles in free thinking and ostentatious indifference in religion.

'He is a handsome Prince, and I should love him as much as my wife does,' says poor M. de Talmond, in d'Argenson's play, 'but why is he not saintly, and ruled by the Congregation de Saint Ignace, like his father? It is Madame de Talmond who preaches to him independence and incredulity. She is bringing the curse of God upon me. How old will she be before the conversion for which I pray daily to Saint Francois Xavier?'

Such was Madame de Talmond, an old mistress of a young man, flighty, philosophical, and sharp of tongue.

On July 18, 1748, Charles communicated to Louis XV. his protest against the article of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle which drove him out of every secular state in Europe. Louis broke a solemn treaty by assenting to this article. Charles published his protest and sent it to Montesquieu. He complained that Montesquieu had not given him the new edition of his book on the Romans. 'La confiance devroit etre mieux etabli entre les auteurs: j'espere que ma facon de penser pour vous m'attirera la continuation de votre bonne volonte pour moi.' {37a} Montesquieu praised Charles's 'simplicity, nobility, and eloquence': 'comme vous le dites tres bien, vous estes un auteur.' 'Were you not so great a Prince, the Duchesse de Guillon' (d'Aiguillon) 'and I would secure you a place in the Academy.'

The Duchesse d'Aiguillon, who later watched by Montesquieu's death- bed, was a friend of Charles. She and Madame de Talmond literally 'pull caps' for him in d'Argenson's play. But she was in favour of his going to Fribourg with a pension after the Peace: Madame de Talmond encouraged resistance. Louis's minister, M. de Cousteille, applied to Fribourg for an asylum for Charles on June 24, 1748. On September 8, Burnaby wrote, for England, a long remonstrance to the 'Laudable States of Fribourg,' calling Charles 'this young Italian!' The States, in five lines, rebuked Burnaby's impertinence, as 'unconfined in its expressions and so unsuitable to a Sovereign State that we did not judge it proper to answer it.' {38a}

To Fribourg Charles would not go. He braved the French Court in every way. He even insisted on a goldsmith's preferring his order for a great service of plate to the King's, and, having obtained the plate, he feasted the Princesse de Talmond, his friend and cousin, the Duc de Bouillon, and a crowd of other distinguished people. {38b} In his demeanour Charles resolutely affronted the French Ministers. There were terrible scenes with Madame de Talmond, especially when Charles was forbidden the house by her husband. Charles was led away from her closed door by Bulkeley, the brother-in-law of Marshal Berwick, and a friend of Montesquieu's. {39a} Thus the violence which afterwards interrupted and ended Charles's liaison with Madame de Talmond had already declared itself. One day, according to d'Argenson, the lady said, 'You want to give ME the second volume in your romance of compromising Madame de Montbazon [his cousin] with your two pistol-shots.' No more is known of this adventure. But Charles was popular both in Court and town: his resistance to expulsion was applauded. De Gevres was sent by the King to entreat Charles to leave France; 'he received de Gevres gallantly, his hand on his sword-hilt.' D'Argenson saw him at the opera on December 3, 1748, 'fort gai et fort beau, admire de tout le public.'

On December 10, 1748, Charles was arrested at the door of the opera house, bound hand and foot, searched, and dragged to Vincennes. The deplorable scene is too familiar for repetition. One point has escaped notice. Charles (according to d'Argenson) had told de Gevres that he would die by his own hand, if arrested. Two pistols were found on him; he had always carried them since his Scottish expedition. But a PAIR OF COMPASSES was also found. Now it was with a pair of compasses that his friend, Lally Tollendal, long afterwards attempted to commit suicide in prison. The pistols were carried in fear of assassination, but what does a man want with a pair of compasses at the opera? {40a}

After some days of detention at Vincennes, Charles was released, was conducted out of French territory, and made his way to Avignon, where he resided during January and February 1749. He had gained the sympathy of the mob, both in Paris and in London. Some of the French Court, including the Dauphin, were eager in his cause. Songs and poems were written against Louis XV, D'Argenson, as we know, being out of office, composed a play on Charles's martyrdom. So much contempt for Louis was excited, that a nail was knocked into the coffin of French royalty. The King, at the dictation of England, had arrested, bound, imprisoned, and expelled his kinsman, his guest, and (by the Treaty of Fontainebleau) his ally.

Applause and pity from the fickle and forgetful the Prince had won, but his condition was now desperate. Refusing to accept a pension from France, he was poor; his jewels he had pawned for the Scottish expedition. He had disobeyed his father's commands and mortally offended Louis by refusing to leave France. His adherents in Paris (as their letters to Rome prove) were in despair. His party, as has been shown, was broken up into hostile camps. Lochiel was dead. Lord George Murray had been insulted and estranged. The Earl Marischal had declined Charles's invitation to manage his affairs (1747). Elcho was a persistent and infuriated dun. Clancarty was reviling Charles, James, Louis, England, and the world at large. Madame de Pompadour, Cardinal Tencin, and de Puysieux were all hostile. The English Jacobites, though loyal, were timid. Europe was hermetically sealed against the Prince. Refuge in Fribourg, where the English threatened the town, Charles had refused. Not a single shelter was open to him, for England's policy was to drive him into the dominions of the Pope, where he would be distant and despised. Of advisers he had only such attached friends as Henry Goring, Bulkeley, Harrington, or such distrusted boon companions as Kelly—against whom the English Jacobites set all wheels in motion. Charles's refuge at Avignon even was menaced by English threats directed at the Pope. The Prince tried to amuse himself; he went to dances, he introduced boxing matches, {41a} just as years before he had brought golf into Italy. But his position was untenable, and he disappeared.

From the gossip of d'Argenson we have learned that Charles was no longer the same man as the gallant leader of the race to Derby, or the gay and resourceful young Ascanius who won the hearts of the Highlanders by his cheerful courage and contented endurance. He was now embittered by defeat; by suspicions of treachery which the Irish about him kindled and fanned, by the broken promises of Louis XV., by the indifference of Spain. He had become 'a wild man,' as his father's secretary, Edgar, calls him—'Our dear wild man.' He spelled the name 'L'ome sauvage.' He was, in brief, a desperate, a soured, and a homeless outcast. His chief French friends were ladies—Madame de Vasse, Madame de Talmond, and others. Montesquieu, living in their society, and sending wine from his estate to the Jacobite Lord Elibank; rejoicing, too, in an Irish Jacobite housekeeper, 'Mlle. Betti,' was well disposed, like Voltaire, in an indifferent well-bred way. Most of these people were, later, protecting and patronising the Prince when concealed from the view of Europe, but theirs was a vague and futile alliance. Charles and his case were desperate.

In this mood, and in this situation at Avignon, he carried into practice the counsel which d'Argenson had elaborated in a written memoir. 'I gave them' (Charles and Henry) 'the best possible advice,' says La Bete. 'My "Memoire" I entrusted to O'Brien at Antwerp. Therein I suggested that the two princes should never return to Italy, BUT THAT FOR SOME YEARS THEY SHOULD LEAD A HIDDEN AND WANDERING LIFE BETWEEN FRANCE AND SPAIN. Charles might be given a pension and the vicariat of Navarre. This should only be allowed to slip out by degrees, while England would grow accustomed to the notion that they were NOT in Rome, and would be reduced to mere doubts as to their place of residence. Now they would be in Spain, now in France, finally in some town of Navarre, where their authority would, by slow degrees, be admitted. Peace once firmly established, it would not be broken over this question. They would be in a Huguenot country, and able to pass suddenly into Great Britain.' {43}

This was d'Argenson's advice before Henry fled Rome to be made a cardinal, and before the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, closing Europe against Charles, was concluded. The object of d'Argenson is plain; he wished to keep Charles out of the Pope's domains, as England wanted to drive the Prince into the centre of 'Popery.' If he resided in Rome, Protestant England would always suspect Charles; moreover, he would be remote from the scene of action. To the Pope's domains, therefore, Charles would not go. But the scheme of skulking in France, Spain, and Navarre had ceased to be possible. He, therefore, adopted 'the fugitive and hidden life' recommended by d'Argenson; he secretly withdrew from Avignon, and for many months his places of residence were unknown.

'Charles,' says Voltaire, 'hid himself from the whole world.' We propose to reveal his hiding-places.


Europe after Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle—A vast gambling establishment- -Charles excluded—Possible chance in Poland—Supposed to have gone thither—'Henry Goring's letter'—Romantic adventures attributed to Charles—Obvious blunders—Talk of a marriage—Count Bruhl's opinion- -Proposal to kidnap Charles—To rob a priest—The King of Poland's ideas—Lord Hyndford on Frederick the Great—Lord Hyndford's mare's nest—Charles at Berlin—'Send him to Siberia'—The theory contradicted—Mischievous glee of Frederick—Charles discountenances plots to kill Cumberland—Father Myles Macdonnell to James—London conspiracy—Reported from Rome—The Bloody Butcher Club—Guesses of Sir Horace Mann—Charles and a strike—Charles reported to be very ill—Really on the point of visiting England—September 1750.

Europe, after the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, was like a vast political gambling establishment. Nothing, or nothing but the expulsion of Prince Charles from every secular State, had been actually settled. Nobody was really satisfied with the Peace. The populace, in France as in England, was discontented. Princes were merely resting and looking round for new combinations of forces. The various Courts, from St. Petersburg to Dresden, from London to Vienna, were so many tables where the great game of national faro was being played, over the heads of the people, by kings, queens, abbes, soldiers, diplomatists, and pretty women. Projects of new alliances were shuffled and cut, like the actual cards which were seldom out of the hands of the players, when Casanova or Barry Lyndon held the bank, and challenged all comers. It was the age of adventurers, from the mendacious Casanova to the mysterious Saint-Germain, from the Chevalier d'Eon to Charles Edward Stuart. That royal player was warned off the turf, as it were, ruled out of the game. Where among all these attractive tables was one on which Prince Charles, in 1749, might put down his slender stake, his name, his sword, the lives of a few thousand Highlanders, the fortunes of some faithful gentlemen? Who would accept Charles's empty alliance, which promised little but a royal title and a desperate venture? The Prince had wildly offered his hand to the Czarina; he was to offer that hand, vainly stretched after a flying crown, to a Princess of Prussia, and probably to a lady of Poland.

At this moment the Polish crown was worn by Augustus of Saxony, who was reckoned 'a bad life.' The Polish throne, the Polish alliance, had been, after various unlucky adventures since the days of Henri III. and the Duc d'Alencon, practically abandoned by France. But Louis XV. was beginning to contemplate that extraordinary intrigue in which Conti aimed at the crown of Poland, and the Comte de Broglie was employed (1752) to undermine and counteract the schemes of Louis's official representatives. {46a} As a Sobieski by his mother's side, the son of the exiled James (who himself had years before been asked to stand as a candidate for the kingdom of Poland), Charles was expected by politicians to make for Warsaw when he fled from Avignon. It is said, on the authority of a Polish manuscript, 'communicated by Baron de Rondeau,' that there was a conspiracy in Poland to unseat Augustus III. and give the crown to Prince Charles. {46b} In 1719, Charles's maternal grandfather had declined a Russian proposal to make a dash for the crown, so the chivalrous Wogan narrates. In 1747 (June 6), Chambrier had reported to Frederick the Great that Cardinal Tencin was opposed to the ambition of the Saxon family, which desired to make the elective crown of Poland hereditary in its house. The Cardinal said that, in his opinion, there was a Prince who would figure well in Poland, le jeune Edouard (Prince Charles), who had just made himself known, and in whom there was the stuff of a man. {46c} But Frederick the Great declined to interfere in Polish matters, and Tencin was only trying to get rid of Charles without a rupture. In May 1748, Frederick refused to see Graeme, a Jacobite who was sent to demand a refuge for the Prince in Prussia. {46d} Without Frederick and without Sweden, Charles in 1749 could do nothing serious in Poland.

The distracted politics of Poland, however, naturally drew the attention of Europe to that country when Charles, on February 28, vanished out of Avignon 'into fairyland,' like Frederick after Molwitz. Every Court in Europe was vainly searched for 'the boy that cannot be found.' The newsletters naturally sent him to Poland, so did Jacobite myth.

The purpose of this chapter is to record the guesses made by diplomatists at Charles's movements, and the expedients by which they vainly endeavoured to discover him. We shall next lift, as far as possible, the veil which has concealed for a century and a half adventures in themselves unimportant enough. In spite of disappointments and dark hours of desertion, Charles, who was much of a boy, probably enjoyed the mystery which he now successfully created. If he could not startle Europe by a brilliant appearance on any stage, he could keep it talking and guessing by a disappearance. He obviously relished secrecy, pass-words, disguises, the 'properties' of the conspirator, in the spirit of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He came of an evasive race. His grandfather, as Duke of York, had fled from England disguised as a girl. His father had worn many disguises in many adventures. HE had been 'Betty Burke.'

Though it is certain that, in March 1749 (the only month when he almost evades us), Charles could not have visited Berlin, Livadia, Stockholm, the reader may care to be reminded of a contemporary Jacobite romance in which he is made to do all these things. A glance should be cast on the pamphlet called 'A Letter from H. G—-g, Esq.' (London, 1750). The editor announces that the letter has been left in his lodgings by a mistake; it has not been claimed, as the person for whom it was meant has gone abroad, and so the editor feels free to gratify 'the curiosity of the town.' The piece, in truth, is a Jacobite tract, meant to keep up the spirits of the faithful, and it is probable that the author really had some information, though he is often either mistaken, or fables by way of a 'blind.' About February 11, says the scribe (nominally Henry Goring, Charles's equerry, an ex-officer of the Queen of Hungary), a mysterious stranger, the 'Chevalier de la Luze,' came to Avignon, and was received by the Prince 'with extraordinary marks of distinction.' 'He understood not one word of English,' which destroys, if true, the theory that the Earl Marischal, or Marshal Keith, is intended. French and Italian he spoke well, but with a foreign accent. Kelly ventured to question the Prince about the stranger, but was rebuffed. One day, probably February 24, the stranger received despatches, and vanished as he had come. The Prince gave a supper (d'Argenson's 'ball'), and, when his guests had retired, summoned Goring into his study. He told Goring that 'there were spies about him' (the Earl Marischal, we know, distrusted Kelly); he rallied him on a love- affair, and said that Goring only should be his confidant. Next morning, very early, they two started for Lyons, disguised as French officers. As far as Lyons, indeed, the French police actually traced them. {49a} But, according to the pamphlet, they did not stop in Lyons; they rested at a small town two leagues further on, whence the Prince sent dispatches to Kelly at Avignon. Engaging a new valet, Charles pushed to Strasbourg, where he again met La Luze, now described as 'a person whose extraordinary talents had gained him the confidence one of the wisest Princes in Europe,' obviously pointing to Frederick of Prussia, the master of Marshal Keith, and the friend and host of his brother, the Earl Marischal. At Strasbourg, Charles rescued a pretty young lady from a fire; she lost her heart at once to the 'Comte d'Espoir' (his travelling title), but the Prince behaved like Scipio, not to mention a patriarch famous for his continence. 'I am no stoic,' said His Royal Highness to La Luze, 'but I have always been taught that pleasures, how pardonable soever in themselves, become highly criminal when indulged to the prejudice of another,' adding many other noble and unimpeachable sentiments.

After a romantic adventure with English or Scottish assassins, in which His Royal Highness shot a few of them, the travellers arrived at Leipzig. La Luze now assumed his real name, and carried Charles, by cross roads, to 'a certain Court,' where he spent ten days with much satisfaction. He stayed at the house of La Luze (Berlin and the Earl Marischal appear to be hinted at, but the Marischal told Pickle that he had never seen Charles at Berlin), secret business was done, and then, through territories friendly or hostile, 'a certain port' was reached. They sailed (from Dantzig?), were driven into a hostile port (Riga?), escaped and made another port (Stockholm?) where they met Lochgarry, 'whom the Prince thought had been one of those that fell at Culloden.'

This is nonsense. Lochgarry had been with Charles after Culloden, and had proposed to waylay Cumberland, which the Prince forbade. Murray of Broughton, in his examination, and Bishop Forbes agree on this point, and James, we know, sent, by Edgar, a message to Lochgarry on Christmas Eve, 1748. {50a} Charles, therefore, knew excellently well that Lochgarry did NOT die at Culloden. After royal, but very secret entertainment 'in this kingdom' (Sweden?), Charles went into Lithuania, where old friends of his maternal ancestors, the Sobieskis, welcomed him. He resumed a gaiety which he had lost ever since his arrest at the opera in Paris, and had 'an interview with a most illustrious and firm friend to his person and interest.' Though his marriage, says the pamphleteer, had been much talked of, 'he has always declined making any applications of that nature himself. It was his fixed determination to beget no royal beggars.' D'Argenson reports Charles's remark that he will never marry till the Restoration, and, no doubt, he was occasionally this mood, among others. {51a} The pamphleteer vows that the Prince 'loves and is loved,' but will not marry 'till his affairs take a more favourable turn.' The lady is 'of consummate beauty, yet is that beauty the least of her perfections.'

The pamphlet concludes with vague enigmatic hopes and promises, and certainly leaves its readers little wiser than they were before. In the opinion of the Messrs. 'Sobieski Stuart' (who called themselves his grandsons), Charles really did visit Sweden, and his jewel, as Grand Master of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Stockholm, is still preserved there. {51b} The castle where he resided in Lithuania, it is said, is that of Radzivil. {51c} The affectionate and beautiful lady is the Princess Radzivil, to whom the newspapers were busy marrying Charles at this time. The authors of 'Tales of the Century,' relying on some vague Polish traditions, think that a party was being made to raise the Prince to the Polish crown. In fact, there is not a word of truth in 'Henry Goring's letter.'

We now study the perplexities of Courts and diplomatists. Pickle was not yet at hand with accurate intelligence, and, even after he began to be employed, the English Government left their agents abroad to send in baffled surmises. From Paris, on March 8, Colonel Joseph Yorke (whom d'Argenson calls by many ill names) wrote, 'I am told for certain that he [the Prince] is now returned to Avignon.' {52a} Mann, in Florence, hears (March 7) that the Prince has sent a Mr. Lockhart to James to ask for money, but that was really done on December 31, 1748. {52b} On March 11, Yorke learned from Puysieux that the Prince had been recognised by postboys as he drove through Lyons towards Metz; probably, Puysieux thought, on 'an affair of gallantry.' Others, says Yorke, 'have sent him to Poland or Sweden,' which, even in 1746, had been getting ready troops to assist Charles in Scotland. {52c} On March 20, Yorke hints that Charles may be in or near Paris, as he probably was. Berlin was suggested as his destination by Horace Mann (April 4). Again, he has been seen in disguise, walking into a gate of Paris (April 11). {52d} On April 14, Walton, from Florence, writes that James has had news of his son, is much excited, and is sending Fitzmorris to join him. The Pope knows and is sure to blab. {52e} On May 3, Yorke mentions a rumour, often revived, that the Prince is dead. On May 9, the Jacobites in Paris show a letter from Oxford inviting Charles to the opening of the Radcliffe, 'where they assure him of better reception than the University has had at Court lately.' {53a} Mann (May 2) mentions the Radzivil marriage, arranged, in a self-denying way, by the Princesse de Talmond. On May 17, Yorke hears from Puysieux that the French ambassador in Saxony avers that Charles is in Poland, and that Sir Charles Williams has remonstrated with Count Bruhl. On May 1, 1749, Sir Charles Hanbury Williams wrote from Leipzig to the Duke of Newcastle. He suspects that Charles is one of several persons who have just passed through Leipzig on the way to Poland; Count Bruhl is 'almost certain' of it. {53b} On May 5 (when Charles was really in or near Venice), Hanbury Williams sends a copy of his remonstrance with Bruhl.

'I asked Count Bruhl whether, in the present divided and factious state of the nobility of Poland, His Polish Majesty would like to have a young adventurer (who can fish in no waters that are not troubled, and who, by his mother, is allied to a family that once sat upon the Polish throne) to go into that country where it would be natural for him to endeavour to encourage factions, nourish divisions, and foment confederations to the utmost of his power, and might not the evil-minded and indisposed Poles be glad to have such a tool in their hands, which at some time or other they might make use of to answer their own ends? To this Count Bruhl answered in such terms as I could wish, and I must do him the justice to say that he showed the best disposition to serve His Majesty in the affair in question; but I am yet of opinion that, whatever is done effectually in this case, must be done by the Court of Petersburg, and I would humbly advise that, as soon as it is known for certain that the Pretender's son is in Poland, His Majesty should order his minister at the Court of Petersburg to take such steps as His Majesty's great wisdom shall judge most likely to make the Czarina act with a proper vigour upon this occasion.

'Your Grace knows that the republic of Poland is at present divided into two great factions, the one which is in the interest of Russia, to which the friends of the House of Austria attach themselves; the other is in the interest of France and Prussia. As I thought it most likely, if the Pretender's son went into Poland, he would seek protection from the French party, I have desired and requested the French ambassador that he would write to the French resident at Warsaw, and to others of his friends in Poland, that he might be informed of the truth of the Pretender's arrival, and the place that he was at in Poland, as soon as possible, and that when he was acquainted with it he would let me know what came to his knowledge, all which he has sincerely promised me to do, and I do not doubt but he will keep his word. . . . It is publicly said that the Pretender's son's journey to Poland is with a design to marry a princess of the House of Radzivil.

'As soon as I hear anything certain about the Pretender's son being in Poland, I will most humbly offer to your Grace the method that I think will be necessary for His Majesty to pursue with respect to the King and republic of Poland, in case His Majesty should think fit not to suffer the Pretender's son to remain in that country.


On May 12, Williams believes that Charles is NOT in Poland. On May 18, he guesses (wrongly) that the Prince is in Paris. On May 25, he fancies—'plainly perceives'—that the French ambassador at Dresden believes in the Polish theory. On June 9, Bruhl tells Williams (correctly) that Charles is in Venice. On June 11, Hanbury Williams proposes to have a harmless priest seized and robbed, and to kidnap Prince Charles! I give this example of British diplomatic energy and chivalrous behaviour.

From Sir Charles Hanbury Williams. 'Dresden: June 11, N.S. 1749.

' . . . Count Bruhl has communicated to me the letters which he received by the last post from the Saxon resident at Venice, who says that the Pretender's son had been at Venice for some days; that he has received two expresses from his father at Rome since his being there; but that nobody knew how long he intended to stay there. . . Mons. Bruhl further informs me that he hears from Poland that the Prince of Radzivil, who is Great General of Lithuania, has a strong desire to marry his daughter to the Pretender's son. The young lady is between eleven and twelve years old, very plain, and can be no great fortune, for she has two brothers; but yet Mons. Bruhl is of opinion that there is some negotiation on foot for this marriage, which is managed by an Italian priest who is a titular bishop, whose name is Lascarisk (sic), and who lives in and governs the Prince Radzivil's family. This priest is soon to set out for Italy, under pretence of going to Rome for the Jubilee year, but Mons. Bruhl verily thinks that he is charged with a secret commission for negotiating the above-mentioned marriage. If His Majesty thinks it worth while to have this priest watched, I will answer for having early intelligence of the time he intends beginning his journey, and then it would be no difficult matter to have him stopped, and his papers taken from him, as he goes through the Austrian territories into Italy. The more I think of it the more I am persuaded that the Pretender's son will not go into Poland for many reasons, especially for one, which is that for a small sum of money I will undertake to find a Pole who will engage to seize upon his person in any part of Poland, and carry him to any port in the north that His Majesty shall appoint. I have had offers of this sort already made me, to which your Grace may be sure I gave no answer, except thanking the persons for the zeal they showed for the King, my master, but I am convinced that the thing is very practicable.

'I had this day the honour to dine with the King of Poland, and, as I sat next to him at table, he told me that he was very glad to hear that the Pretender's son was at length found to be at Venice, for that he would much rather have him there than in Poland; to which I answered that I was very glad, upon His Polish Majesty's account, that the Pretender's son had not thought fit to come into any of His Majesty's territories, since I believed the visit would be far from being agreeable. To which the King of Poland replied that IT WOULD BE A VERY DISAGREEABLE VISIT TO HIM, and after that expressed himself in the handsomest manner imaginable with respect to His Majesty, and the regard he had for his Sacred person and Royal House; and I am convinced if the Pretender's son had gone into Poland, His Polish Majesty and his minister would have done everything in their power to have drove him out of that kingdom as soon as possible.


'P.S.—Since my writing this letter, Count Bruhl tells me that the news of the Pretender's son's being at Venice is confirmed by letters from his best correspondent at Rome, but both accounts agree in the Pretender's son's being at Venice incognito, and that he appears in no public place, so that very few people know of his being there. . . . C. H. W.'

In 1751, Hanbury Williams renewed his proposal about waylaying Lascaris.

Charles, as we shall see, was for a short time at Venice in May 1749. Meanwhile the game of hide and seek through Europe went on as merrily as ever. Lord Hyndford, so well known to readers of Mr. Carlyle's 'Frederick,' now opens in full cry from Moscow, but really on a hopelessly wrong scent. As illustrating Hyndford's opinion of Frederick, who had invested him with the Order of the Thistle, we quote this worthy diplomatist:

Lord Hyndford to the Duke of Newcastle. {58a} 'Moscow: June 19, 1749.

' . . . I must acquaint your Grace of what I have learnt, through a private canal, from the last relation of Mr. Gross, the Russian minister at Berlin, although I dare say it is no news to your Grace. Mr. Gross writes that, some days before the date of his letter, the Pretender's eldest son arrived at Potsdam, and had been very well received by the King of Prussia, General Keith, and his brother, the late Earl Marshal; and all the other English, Scotch, and Irish Jacobites in the Prussian service were to wait upon him. This does not at all surprise me; but Mons. Valony, the French minister, went likewise to make his compliments at a country house, hired on purpose for this young vagabond. This is all that I know as yet of this affair in general, for the Chancellor has not thought proper as yet to inform me of the particulars. However, this public, incontestable proof of the little friendship and regard the King of Prussia has for His Majesty and His Royal Family, and for the whole British nation, will, I hope, open the eyes of the people who are blind to that Prince's monstrous faults, if any such are still left amongst us, and I doubt not but it will save His Majesty the trouble of sending Sir C. Hanbury Williams or any other minister to that perfidious Court.


This was all a mare's nest; but Hyndford is for kidnapping the Prince. He writes:

'Moscow: June 26, 1749.

'My Lord,—Since the 19th inst., which was the date of my last letter to your Grace, I have been with the Chancellor, who made his excuses that he had not sooner communicated to me the intelligence which Mr. Gross, the Russian minister at Berlin, had sent him concerning the Pretender's eldest son. The Chancellor confirmed all that I wrote to your Grace on the 19th upon that subject, and he told me that he had received a second letter from Mr. Gross, wherein that minister says that the Young Pretender had left the country house where he was, in the neighbourhood of Berlin, and had entirely disappeared, without its being hitherto possible for him, Mr. Gross, or Count Choteck, the Austrian minister, to find out the route he has taken, although it is generally believed that he is gone into Poland; and that now the King of Prussia and his ministers deny that ever the Pretender's son was there, and take it mightily amiss of anybody that pretends to affirm it. I am sorry that the Russian troops are not now in Poland, for otherwise I believe it would have been an easy matter to prevail upon this Court to catch this young knight errant and to send him to Siberia, where he would not have been any more heard of; and if the Court of Dresden will enter heartily into such a scheme, it will not be impossible yet to apprehend him, and as it is very probable that the King of Prussia has sent him into Poland to make a party and breed confusion, it appears to be King Augustus's interest to secure him.


Many months later, on Feb. 2, 1749-1750, Lord Hyndford, writing from Hanover, retracted. The rumour of Charles's presence at Berlin, he found, was started by Count de Choteck, the Austrian ambassador. In fact, Choteck used to meet a fair lady secretly in a garden near Berlin, and near the house of Field-Marshal Keith and his brother, Lord Marischal. Hard by was an inn, where a stranger lodged, a rich and handsome youth, whom Choteck, meeting, took for Prince Charles. He was really a young Polish gentleman, into whose reasons for retirement we need not examine.

Frederick, in his mischievous way, wrote about all this from Potsdam, on June 24, 1749:

'We have played a trick on Choteck; he spends much on spies, and, to prove that he is well served, he has taken it into his head that young Edouard, really at Venice, is at Berlin. He has been very busy over this, and no doubt has informed his Court.'

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