Out of the mist-bank before Captain Ian Rullock grew a great horse with a man upon it of great stature and frame. It came to the Jacobite like a vision, with a startling and intense reality. He was standing with his sword drawn; there was a drift of mist, and then there was the horse and rider—there was Alexander.
He looked down at Ian, and his face was not pale but set. He made a gesture that seemed full of satisfaction, and would have dismounted and drawn his sword. But there came a dash of maddened horses and their riders and a leaping stream of tartaned men. These drove like a wedge between; his horse wheeled, would leave no more its fellows; the tide of brute and man bore him away with it. Ian watched all go fighting by, a moving frieze, out of the mist into the mist.
A triumphant Stewart went back to Holyrood, an exultant army, calling itself, now with some good show of bearing it through, the “royal” army, carried into Edinburgh its confident step and sanguine hue. Victory was with the old line, the magnificent attempt! The erstwhile doubting throng began, stage by stage, to mount toward enthusiasm. It was the quicker done that Charles Edward, or his wisest advisers, put forth a series of judicious civic and public measures. And, now that Cope had fled, King George had in Scotland no regular troops. Every day there came open accessions to the Prince’s strength. The old Stewarts up again became a magnet, drawing more and more the filings. The Prince had presently between five and six thousand troops. The north was his, Edinburgh, the Jacobites scattered through the Lowlands. The moderate Whig and Presbyterian might begin to think of compounding, of finding virtues in necessity. The irreconcilables felt great alarm and saw coming upon them a helplessness.
But the Stewarts, with French approval behind, aimed at the recovery of England no less than Scotland. Windsor might well overdazzle Holyrood. This interest had received many and strong protestations of support from a wide swathe of English nobility and gentry. Lift the victorious army over the border, set it and the young Prince bodily upon English ground, would not great family after great family rouse its tenants, arm them, join the Prince? So at least it seemed to the flushed Stewart hope. King George was home from Hanover, British troops being brought back from the Continent. Best to fan high the fire of the rising while it might with most ease be fanned—best to march as soon as might be into England!