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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


- - - who had come to pity, there were more than a hundred whose hearts were filled with a tiger-like ferocity, which the clergy had inspired to a dangerous degree, and for the most ungenerous purpose.? The women of the kail-market and the ?? saints of the Bowhead? were all there, their tongues trembling with abuse, and their hands full of stones or mud to launch at the head of the fallen Cavalier, who passed through the Water Gate at four in the afternoon, greeted by a storm of yells. Seated on a lofty hurdle, he was bound with cords so tightly that he was unable to raise his hands to save his face; preceded by the magistrates in their robes, he was bareheaded, his hat having been tom from him. Though in the prime of manhood and perfection of manly beauty, we are told that he ? looked pale, worn, and hollow-eyed, for many of the wounds he had received at Invercarron were yet green and smarting. A single horse drew the hurdle, and thereon sat the executioner of the city, clad in his ghastly and sable livery, and wearing his bonnet as a mark of disrespect.?? He was escorted by the city guard, under the notorious Major Weir-Weir the wizard, whose terrible fate has been recorded elsewhere. In front marched a number of Cavalier prisoners, bareheaded and bound with cords. Many of the people now shed tears on witnessing this spectacle ; but, says Khcaid, they were publicly rebuked by the clergy, ? who declaimed against this movement of rebel nature, and reproached them with their profane tenderness ; ? while the ?Wigton Papers ? state that how even the widows and the mothers of those who had fallen in his wars wept for Montrose, who looked around him With the profoundest serenity as he proceeded up the Canongate, even when he came to Moray House- ?Then, as the Graham looked upward, he met the ugly was one living mass of human beings ; but for one I where, by an unparalleled baseness, Argyle, with the chief men of his cabal, who never durst look Montrose in the face while he had his sword in his hand, appeared in the balcony in order to feed merrily their sight with a spectacle which struck horror into all good men. But Montrose astonished them with his looks, and his resolution confounded them.? Then with broad vulgarity the marchioness spat full in his face ! Argyle shrank back at this, and an English Cavalier who stood among the crowd below reviled him sharply, while Lorne and his bride continued to toy and smile in the face of the people. (? Wigton Papers.?) So protracted was this melancholy spectacle that seven o?clock had struck before the hurdle reached the gate of the Tolbooth, where Montrose, when unbound, gave the executioner a gold coin, saying -?? This-is your reward, my man, for driving the cart.? On the following day, Sunday, the ministers in their pulpits, according to Wishart, rebuked the people for not having stoned him. One declared that ?he was a faggot of hell, and that he already saw him burning,? while he was constantly taunted by Major Weir as ?a dog, .atheist, and murderer.? The story of Montrose?s execution on the z1st of May, when he was hanged at the Cross on a gibbet thirty feet high, with the record of his battles suspended from his neck, how he died with glorious magnanimity and was barbarously quartered, belongs to the general annals of the nation ; but the City Treasurer?s account contains some curious items connected with that great legal tragedy :- 1650. Ffebruar. To making a scaffold at ye Cross for burning ye Earl of Montrose?s papers . 2 8 0 May 13. For making a seat on a cart to carry him from ve Water Gate to ve Tolbooth . IZ 16 o ? into the street was Argyle, with a gay bridal party in their brave dresses. His son, Lord Lorne, had just been wedded to the Earl of Moray?s daughter, deeperand covering it again . . I 16 0 Pd. for sharping the axe for striking away the head, legs, and arms from the body. . . . . . o 12 0 ,,
Volume 3 Page 14
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