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few friends who remained to the king, to raise such commotions, as would soon oblige the malcontents to recal those forces, which had so sensibly thrown the balance in favour of the parliament.5 Not discouraged with the defeat at Marston-moor, which rendered it impossible for him to draw any succour from England; he was content to stipulate with the earl of Antrim, a nobleman of Ireland, for some supply of men from that country. And he himself, changing his disguises, and passing through many dangers, arrived in Scotland; where he lay concealed in the borders of the Highlands, and secretly prepared the minds of his partisans for attempting some great enter. prise. 6 .
No sooner were the Irish landed, though not exceeding eleven hundred foot, very ill armed, than Montrose declared himself, and entered upon that scene of action which has rendered his name so celebrated. About eight hundred of the men of Athole flocked to his standard. Five hundred men more, who had been levied by the covenanters, were persuaded to embrace the royal cause : and with this combined force, he hastened to attack lord Elcho, who lay at Perth with an army of six thousand men, assembled upon the first news of the Irish invasion. Montrose, inferior in number, totally unprovided with horse, ill supplied with arms and ammunition, had nothing to depend on, but the courage, which he himself, by his own example, and the rapidity of his enterprises, should inspire into his raw soldiers. Having received the fire of the enemy, which was answered chiefly by a volley of stones, he rushed amidst them with his sword drawn, threw them into confusion, pushed his advantage, and obtained a complete victory, with the slaughter of two thousand of the covenanters.7
This victory, though it augmented the renown of Montrose, increased not his power or numbers. The far greater part of the kingdom was extremely attached to the covenant; and such as bore an affection to the royal cause, were terrified by the established authority of the opposite party. Dreading the superior power of Argyle, who, having joined his vassals to a force levied by the public, was approaching with a considerable army; Montrose hastened northwards, in order to rouse again the marquis of Huntley and the Gordons, who, having before hastily taken arms, had been instantly suppressed by the covenanters. He was joined on his march by the earl of Airly, with his two younger sons, sir Thomas and sir David Ogilvy: the eldest was, at that time, a prisoner with the enemy. He attacked at Aberdeen the lord Burley, who commanded a force of 2500 men. After a sharp combat, by his undaunted courage, which, in his situation, was true policy, and was also not unaccompanied with military skill, he put the enemy to flight, and in the pursuit did great execution upon them.8
But by this second advantage he obtained not the end which he expected. The envious nature of Huntley, jealous of Montrose's glory, rendered him averse to join an army, where he himself must be so much eclipsed by the superior merit of the general. Argyle, reinforced by the earl of Lothian, was behind him with a great army: the militia of the northern counties, Murray, Ross, Caithness, to the number of five thousand men, opposed him in front, and guarded the banks of the Spey, a deep and rapid river. In order to elude these numerous armies, he turned aside into the hills, and saved his weak, but active troops, in Badenoch. After some marches and countermarches, Argyle came up with him at Faivy-castle. This nobleman's character, though celebrated for political courage and conduct, was very low for military prowess; and after some skirmishes, in which he was worsted, he here allowed Montrose to escape him. By quick marches through these inaccessible mountains, that general freed himself from the superior forces of the covenanters.
Sucb was the situation of Montrose, that very good or very ill fortune was equally destructive to him, and diminished his army. After every victory, his soldiers, greedy of spoil, but deeming the smallest acquisition to be unexhausted riches, deserted in great numbers, and went home to secure the treasures which they had acquired. Tired too, and spent with hasty and long marches, in the depth of winter, through snowy mountains, unpro. vided with every necessary, they fell off, and left their general almost alone with the Irish, who, having no place to which they could retire, still adhered to him in every fortune.
With these, and some reinforcements of the Athole-men, and Macdonalds whom he had recalled, Montrose fell suddenly upon Argyle's country, and let loose upon it all the rage of war; carrying off the cattle, burning the bouses, and putting the inhabitants to the sword. This severity, by which Montrose sullied his victories, was the result of private animosity against the chieftain, as much as of zeal for the public cause. Argyle, collecting three thousand men, marched in quest of the enemy, who had retired with their plunder; and le lay at Innerlochy, supposing himself still at a considerable distance from them. The earl of Seaforth, at the head of the garrison of Inverness, who were veteran soldiers, joined to five thousand new-levied troops of the northern counties, pressed the royalists on the other side, and threatened them with inevitable destruction. By a quick and unexpected march, Montrose hastened to Innerlochy, and presented himself in order of battle before the surprised, but not affrightened, covenanters. Argyle alone, seized with a panic, deserted his army, who still maintained their ground, and gave battle to the royalists. After a vigorous resistance they were defeated, and pursued with great slaughter (2nd Feb.)9 And the power of the Campbels (that is Argyle's name) being thus broken; the Highlanders, who were in general well affected to the royal cause, began to join Montrose's camp in great numbers. Seaforth's army dispersed of itself, at the very terror of his name. And lord Gordon, eldest son of Huntley, having escaped from his uncle Argyle, who had hitherto detained him, now joined Montrose with no contemptible number of his followers, attended by his brother, the earl of Aboine.
The council at Edinburgh, alarmed at Montrose's progress, began to think of a more regular plan of defence,
against an enemy, whose repeated victories had rendered him extremely formidable. They sent for Baillie, an officer of reputation, from England; and joining him in command with Urrey, who had again enlisted himself among the king's enemies, they sent them to the field, with a considerable army, against the royalists. Montrose, with a detachment of eight hundred men, had attacked Dundee, a town extremely zealous for the covenant: and having carried it by assault, had delivered it up to be plundered by his soldiers; when Baillie and Urrey, with their whole force, were unexpectedly upon him. io His conduct and presence of mind, in this emergence, appeared conspicuous. Instantly he called off his soldiers from plunder, put them in order, secured his retreat by the most skilful measures; and having marched sixty miles in the face of an enemy much superior, without stopping, or allowing his soldiers the least sleep or refreshment, he at last secured himself in the mountains.
Baillie and Urrey now divided their troops, in order the better to conduct the war against an enemy, who surprised them, as much by the rapidity of his marches, as by the boldness of his enterprises. Urrey, at the head of four thousand men, met him at Alderne, near Iuverness; and, encouraged by the superiority of number (for the covenanters were double the royalists), attacked him in the post which he had chosen. Montrose, having placed his right wing in strong ground, drew the best of his forces to the other, and left no main body between them; a defect which he artfully concealed, by showing a few men through the trees and bushes, with which that ground was covered. That Urrey might have no leisure to perceive the stratagem, he instantly led his left wing to the charge; and making a furious impression upon the covenanters, drove them off the field, and gained a complete victory." In this battle, the valour of young Napier, son to the lord of that name, shone out with signal lustre.
Baillie now advanced, in order to revenge Urrey's discomfiture; but, at Alford, he met, himself, with a like fate.!! Montrose, weak in cavalry, here lined his troops of horse with infantry; and after putting the enemy's horse to rout, fell with united force upon their foot, who were entirely cut in pieces, though with the loss of the gallant lord Gordon on the part of the royalists. And having thus prevailed in so many battles, which his vigour ever rendered as decisive as they were successful, he summoned together all his friends and partisans, and prepared himself for marching into the southern provinces, in order to put a final period to the power of the covenanters, and dissipate the parliament, which, with great pomp and so lemnity, they had summoned to meet at St. Johnstone's.
While the fire was thus kindled in the north of the island, it blazed out with no less fury in the south: the parliamentary and royal armies, as soon as the season would permit, prepared to take the field, in hopes of bringing their important quarrel to a quick decision. The passing of the self-denying ordinance had been protracted by so many debates and intrigues, that the spring was far advanced before it received the sanction of both houses; and it was thought dangerous by many to introduce, so near the time of action, such great innovations into the army. Had not the punctilious principles of Essex engaged him, amidst all the disgusts which he received, to pay implicit obedience to the parliament; this alteration had not been effected without some fatal accident: since, notwithstanding his prompt resignation of the command, a mutiny was generally apprehended.14 Fairfax, or more properly speaking, Cromwel, under his name, introduced, at last, the new model into the army, and threw the troops into a different shape. From the same men, new regiments and new companies were formed, different officers appointed, and the whole military force put into such hands, as the independents could rely on. Besides members of parliament who were excluded, many officers, unwilling to serve under the new generals, threw up their commissions; and unwarily facilitated the project of putting the army entirely into the hands of that faction.
Though the discipline of the former parliamentary army was not contemptible, a more exact plan was introduced,