A Daughter of Raasay A Tale of the '45

#Fiction #Historical
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Excerpt The ladies of St. James’s Go swinging to the play; Their footmen run before them With a “Stand by! Clear the way!” But Phyllida, my Phyllida! She takes her buckled shoon. When we go out a-courting Beneath the harvest moon.The ladies of St. James’s! They are so fine and fair, You’d think a box of essences Was broken in the air: But Phyllida, my Phyllida! The breath of heath and furze When breezes blow at morning, Is not so fresh as hers.The ladies of St. James’s! They’re painted to the eyes; Their white it stays forever, Their red it never dies: But Phyllida, my Phyllida! Her colour comes and goes; It trembles to a lily,— It wavers like a rose.The ladies of St. James’s! You scarce can understand The half of all their speeches, Their phrases are so grand: But Phyllida, my Phyllida! Her shy and simple words Are clear as after raindrops The music of the birds.The ladies of St. James’s! They have their fits and freaks; They smile on you—for seconds; They frown on you—for weeks: But Phyllida, my Phyllida! Come either storm or shine, From shrovetide unto shrovetide Is always true—and mine.Austin Dobson. FOREWORD When this romance touches history the author believes that it is, in every respect, with one possible exception, in accord with the accepted facts. In detailing the history of “the ‘45’” and the sufferings of the misguided gentlemen who flung away the scabbard out of loyalty to a worthless cause, care has been taken to make the story agree with history. The writer does not of course indorse the view of Prince Charles’ character herein set forth by Kenneth Montagu, but there is abundant evidence to show that the Young Chevalier had in a very large degree those qualities which were lacking to none of the Stuarts: a charming personality and a gallant bearing. If his later life did not fulfil the promise of his youth, the unhappy circumstances which hampered him should be kept in mind as an extenuation. The thanks of the writer are due for pertinent criticism to Miss Chase, to Mr. Arthur Chapman and to Mr. James Rain, and especially to Mr. Ellery Sedgwick, whose friendly interest and kindly encouragement have been unfailing. Acknowledgment must also be made of a copious use of Horace Walpole’s Letters, the Chevalier Johnstone’s History of the Rebellion, and other eighteenth century sources of information concerning the incidents of the times. The author has taken the liberty of using several anecdotes and bon mots mentioned in the “Letters”; but he has in each case put the story in the mouth of its historical originator. W. M. R. A Daughter of Raasay CHAPTER I THE SPORT OF CHANCE “Deep play!” I heard Major Wolfe whisper to Lord Balmerino. “Can Montagu’s estate stand such a drain?” “No. He will be dipped to the last pound before midnight. ’Tis Volney’s doing. He has angled for Montagu a se’nnight, and now he has hooked him. I have warned the lad, but——” He shrugged his shoulders. The Scotchman was right....
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