Rob Roy

Appendix to Introduction

No. III.—Challenge by Rob Roy

Walter Scott

“Rob Roy to ain hie and mighty Prince, James Duke of Montrose.

“IN charity to your Grace’s couradge and conduct, please know, the only way to retrive both is to treat Rob Roy like himself, in appointing tyme, place, and choice of arms, that at once you may extirpate your inveterate enemy, or put a period to your punny (puny?) life in falling gloriously by his hands. That impertinent criticks or flatterers may not brand me for challenging a man that’s repute of a poor dastardly soul, let such know that I admit of the two great supporters of his character and the captain of his bands to joyne with him in the combat. Then sure your Grace wont have the impudence to clamour att court for multitudes to hunt me like a fox, under pretence that I am not to be found above ground. This saves your Grace and the troops any further trouble of searching; that is, if your ambition of glory press you to embrace this unequald venture offerd of Rob’s head. But if your Grace’s piety, prudence, and cowardice, forbids hazarding this gentlemanly expedient, then let your desire of peace restore what you have robed from me by the tyranny of your present cituation, otherwise your overthrow as a man is determined; and advertise your friends never more to look for the frequent civility payed them, of sending them home without their arms only. Even their former cravings wont purchase that favour; so your Grace by this has peace in your offer, if the sound of war be frightful, and chuse you whilk, your good friend or mortal enemy.”

This singular rhodomontade is enclosed in a letter to a friend of Rob Roy, probably a retainer of the Duke of Argyle in Isle, which is in these words:—

SIR,—Receive the enclosd paper, qn you are takeing yor Botle it will divert yorself and comrad’s. I gote noe news since I seed you, only qt wee had before about the Spainyard’s is like to continue. If I’ll get any further account about them I’ll be sure to let you know of it, and till then I will not write any more till I’ll have more sure account, and I am

“Sir, your most affectionate Cn [cousin], “and most humble servant, “

Rob Roy.”        

Argyle 16th, 1719.

“To Mr. Patrick Anderson, at Haig—These.’

The seal, a stag—no bad emblem of a wild cateran.

It appears from the envelope that Rob Roy still continued to act as Intelligencer to the Duke of Argyle, and his agents. The war he alludes to is probably some vague report of invasion from Spain. Such rumours were likely enough to be afloat, in consequence of the disembarkation of the troops who were taken at Glensheal in the preceding year, 1718.

Rob Roy - Contents    |     Appendix to Introduction - No. IV.—Letter

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