Pickle the Spy
or The Incognito of Prince Charles

The following is from Pickle the Spy by Andrew Lang:

Chapter IV

The Prince in Fairyland II
What Actually Occurred

Charles mystifies Europe - Montesquieu knows his secret - Sources of information - The Stuart manuscripts - Charles’s letters from Avignon - A proposal of marriage - Kennedy and the hidden treasure - Where to look for Charles - Cherchez la femme! - Hidden in Lorraine - Plans for entering Paris - Letter to Mrs. Drummond - To the Earl Marischal - Starts for Venice - At Strasbourg - Unhappy Harrington - Letter to James - Leaves Venice ‘A bird without a nest’ - Goes to Paris - The Prince’s secret revealed - The convent of St. Joseph - Curious letter as Cartouche - Madame de Routh - Cartouche again - Goring sent to England - A cypher - Portrait of Madame de Talmond - Portrait of Madame d’Aiguillon - Intellectual society - Mademoiselle Luci - ‘Dener Bash’ - The secret hoard - Results of Goring’s English mission - Timidity of English Jacobites - Supply of money - Charles a bibliophile - ‘My big muff’ - A patron of art - Quarrels with Madame de Talmond - Arms for a rising - Newton on Cluny - Kindness to Monsieur Le Coq - Madame de Talmond weary of Charles - Letters to her - Charles reads Fielding’s novels - Determines to go to England - Large order of arms - Reproached by James - Intagli of James - En route for London - September 1750.

The reader has had an opportunity of observing the success of Charles in mystifying Europe. Diplomatists, ambassadors, and wits would have been surprised, indeed, had they known that one of the most famous men of the age possessed the secret for which they were seeking. The author of ‘L’Esprit des Lois’ could have enlightened them, for Charles’s mystery was no mystery to Montesquieu, who was friendly with Scottish and English Jacobites. The French Ministers, truly or falsely, always professed entire ignorance. They promised to arrest the Prince wherever he might be found on French soil, and transport him to sea by Civita Vecchia. {68} It will be shown later that, at least in the autumn of 1749, this ignorance was probably feigned.

What is really known of the movements of the Prince in 1749? Curiously enough, Mr. Ewald does not seem to have consulted the ‘Stuart Papers’ at Windsor, while the extracts in Browne’s ‘History of the Highland Clans’ are meagre. To these papers then we turn for information. The most useful portions are not Charles’s letters to James. These are brief and scanty. Thus he writes from Avignon (January 15, 1749), ‘We are enjoying here the finest weather ever was seen.’ He always remarks that his health ‘is perfect.’ He orders patterns for his servants’ liveries and a button, blue and yellow, still remains in a letter from Edgar! The button outlasts the dynasty. Our intelligence must be extracted from ill-spelled, closely scrawled, and much erased sheets of brown paper, on which Charles has scribbled drafts for letters to his household, to Waters, his banker in Paris, to adherents in Paris or London, and to ladies. The notes are almost, and in places are quite, illegible. The Prince practised a disguised hand, and used pseudonyms instead of names. Many letters have been written in sympathetic ink, and then exposed to fire or the action of acids. However, something can be made out, but not why he concealed his movements even from his banker, even from his household, Oxburgh, Kelly, Harrington, and Graeme. It is certain that he started, with a marriage in his eye, from Avignon on February 28, 1749, accompanied by Henry Goring, of the Austrian service. There had already been a correspondence, vaguely hinted at by James’s secretary, Edgar, between Charles and the Duke and a Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt. On February 24, 1749, Charles drafted, at Avignon, a proposal for the hand of the Duke’s daughter. He also drafted (undated) a request to the King of Poland for leave to bring his wife, the Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt, into Polish territory. {69} We may imagine His Polish Majesty’s answer. Of course, the marriage did not take place.

Charles had other secrets. On February 3, 1749, he wrote to Waters about the care to be taken with certain letters. These were a correspondence with ‘Thomas Newton,’ (Major Kennedy), at Mr. Alexander Macarty’s, in Gray’s Inn, London. Newton was in relations with Cluny Macpherson, through a friend in Northumberland. Cluny, skulking on his Highland estates, was transmitting or was desired to transmit a part of the treasure of 40,000 louis d’or, buried soon after Culloden at the head of Loch Arkaig. {70a} Of this fatal treasure we shall hear much. A percentage of the coin was found to be false money, a very characteristic circumstance. Moreover, Cluny seems to have held out hopes, always deferred, of a rising in the Highlands. Charles had to be ready in secrecy, to put himself at the head of this movement. There was also to be an English movement, which was frowned on by official Jacobitism. On February 3, 1749, Charles writes from Avignon to ‘Thomas Newton’ (Kennedy) about the money sent south by Cluny. He repeated his remarks on March 6, giving no place of residence. But probably he was approaching Paris, dangerous as such a visit was, for in a note of March 6 to Waters, he says that he will ‘soon call for letters.’ {70b} His noms de guerre at this time were ‘Williams’ and ‘Benn’; later he chose ‘John Douglas.’ He was also Smith, Mildmay, Burton, and so forth.

There should have been no difficulty in discovering Charles. Modern police, in search of a person who is ‘wanted,’ spy on his mistress. Now the Princesse de Talmond, when out of favour at Versailles, went to certain lands in Lorraine, near her exiled king, Stanislas. In Lorraine, therefore, at Lunéville, the Court of the ex-king of Poland, or at Commercy, Bar-le-Duc, or wherever the Princesse de Talmond might be, Charles was sure to be heard of by an intelligent spy, if permitted to enter the country. Consequently, we are not surprised to find Charles drafting on April 3, at Lunéville (where he resided at the house of one Mittie, physician of the ex-king of Poland), a ‘Project for My arrival in Paris. Mr. Benn [himself] must go straight to Dijon, and his companion, Mr. Smith [Goring], to Paris. Mr. Smith will need a chaise, which he must buy at Lunéville. Next he will take up the servant of C. P. [Prince Charles] at Ligny, but on leaving that place Mr. Smith must ride on horseback, and the chaise can go there as if for his return to Paris; the person in it seeming to profit by this opportunity. Mr. Benn [the Prince] must remain for some days, as if he wanted to buy a trunk, and will give his own as if in friendship to Mr. Smith; all this seeming mere chance work. Next, Mr. Smith will go his way and his friend will go his, after waiting a few days, and on arriving at Dijon must write to nobody, except the letter to W- [Waters]. The Chevalier Graeme, whom he must see (and to whom he may mention having been at Dijon on the Prince’s business, without naming his companion, but as if alone), knows nothing, and Graeme must be left in the dark as if he (Mr. Smith) [Goring] were in the same case, and were waiting new orders in total ignorance, not having seen me for a long time.’ {71}

There follow a few private addresses in Paris; and the name, to be remarked, of ‘Mademoiselle Ferrand.’

All this is very puzzling; we only make out that, by some confusion of the personalities of ‘Benn’ (the Prince) and ‘Mr. Smith’ (Goring), Charles hoped to enter Paris undetected. Yet he was seen ‘entering a gate of Paris in disguise.’ Doubtless he had lady allies, but a certain Mademoiselle Ferrand, to whom he wrote, he seems not to have known personally. We shall find that she was later of use to him, and indeed his most valuable friend and ally.

Next, we find this letter of April 10 to Madame Henrietta Drummond, doubtless of the family of Macgregor, called Drummond, of Balhaldie. Charles appears to have had enough of Paris, and is going to Venice. He is anxious to meet the Earl Marischal.

‘April 10, 1749.

‘I have been very impatient to be able to give you nuse of me as I am fully persuaded of yr Friendship, and concern for everything that regards me; I send you here enclosed a Letter for Ld Marishal, be pleased to enclose it, and forward it without loss of time; the Bearer (he is neither known by you or me), is charged to receive at any time what Letters you want to send me, and you may be shure of their arriving safe. Iff Lord Marishal agrees with my Desier when you give his Packet to yr Bearer, you must put over it en Dilligence, iff otherwise, direct by my Name as I sign it here. I flatter myself of the Continuation of your Friendship, as I hope you will never doubt of mine which shall be constant. I remain yr moste obedient humble Servant


‘P.S. - Tell ye Bearer when to comback for the answer of ye enclosed or any other Letters you want to send me.

‘P.S. to Lord Marischal. - Whatever party you take, be pleased to keep my writing secret, and address to me at Venise to the Sig. Ignazio Testori to Mr. de Villelongue under cover to a Banquier of that town, and it will come safe to me.

‘To Md. Henrietta Drummond.’

Charles, on April 20, wrote another letter to the Lord Marischal, imploring for an interview, at some place to be fixed. But the old Lord was not likely to go from Berlin to Venice, whither Charles was hastening.

It is perfectly plain that, leaving Avignon on February 28, Charles was making for Paris on March 6 by a circuitous route through Lorraine (where he doubtless met Madame de Talmond), and a double back on Burgundy. What he did or desired in Paris we do not know. He is said to have visited Lally Tollendal, and he must have seen Waters, his banker. By April 10 he is starting for Venice, where he had, as a boy, been royally received. But, in 1744, the Republic of Venice had resumed relations with England, interrupted by Charles’s too kind reception in 1737. The whole romance, therefore, of Henry Goring’s letter, and all the voyages to Stockholm, Berlin, Lithuania, and so forth, are visions. Charles probably saw some friends in Paris, was tolerated in Lorraine (where his father was protected before 1715), and he vainly looked for a home in any secular State of Europe. This was all, or nearly all, that occurred between March and May 1749. Europe was fluttered, secret service money was poured out like water, diplomatists caballed and scribbled despatches, all for very little. The best place to have hunted for Charles was really at Lunéville, near the gay Court of his kinsman, the Duke Stanislas Leczinski, the father of the Queen of France. There Charles’s sometime admirer, Voltaire, was a welcome guest; thither too (as we saw) went his elderly cousin, people said his mistress, the Princesse de Talmond. But the English diplomatists appear to have neglected Lunéville. D’Argenson was better informed.

On April 26 Charles was at Strasbourg. Here, D’Argenson says, he was seen, and warned to go, by an écuyer of the late Cardinal Rohan. Hence he wrote again to the Earl Marischal at Berlin. From this note it is plain that he had sent Goring (‘Mr. Smith’) to the Earl; Goring, indeed, had carried his letters of April l0-20. He again proposes a meeting with the Earl Marischal at Venice. He will ‘answer for the expenses,’ and apologises for ‘such a long and fatiguing journey.’ He wrote to Waters, ‘You may let Mr. Newton know that whenever he has thoroly finished his Business, Mr. Williams [the Prince] will make him very wellcum in all his Cuntrihouses.’

The ‘business’ of ‘Mr. Newton’ was to collect remittances from Cluny.

On April 30, the Prince, as ‘Mr. Williams,’ expresses ‘his surprise and impatience for the delay of the horses [money] and other goods promised by Mr. Newton.’

On May 3, Charles wrote, without address, to Goring, ‘I go strete to Venice, and would willingly avoid your Garrison Towns, as much as possible: id est, of France. I believe to compass that by goin by Ruffach to Pfirt: there to wate for me. The Chese [chaise] you may either leve it in consine to your post-master of Belfort, or, what is still better, to give it to the bearer.’

Goring and Harrington were to meet the bearer at Belfort, but Harrington seems to have been mystified, and to have failed in effecting a junction. The poor gentleman, we learn, from letters of Stafford and Sheridan, Charles’s retainers at Avignon, could scarcely raise money to leave that town. Sir James Harrington was next to meet Charles at Venice. He was to carry a letter for Charles to a Venetian banker. ‘Nota bene, that same banquier, though he will deliver to me your letter, knows nothing about me, nor who I am. . . . Change your name, and, in fine, keep as private as possible, till I tell you what is to be done.’ Harrington failed, and lay for months in pawn at Venice, pouring out his griefs in letters to Goring. He was a lachrymose conspirator.

These weary affairs are complicated by mysterious letters to ladies: for example to Mademoiselle Lalasse, ‘Je vous prie, Mademoiselle, de rendre justice à mon inviolable attachement . . .’ (May 3). He gives her examples of his natural and of his disguised handwriting; probably she helped him in forwarding his correspondence. Charles’s chief anxiety was to secure the Lord Marischal. Bulkeley and the official English Jacobites kept insisting that he should have a man with him who was trusted by the party. Kelly was distrusted, though Bulkeley defends him, and was cashiered in autumn. Charles’s friends also kept urging that he must ‘appear in public,’ but where? Bulkeley suggested Bologna. The Earl Marischal, later (July 5), was for Fribourg. No place was really both convenient and possible. On May 17 Charles wrote from Venice to the Earl Marischal, ‘I am just arrived, but will not be able for some days, to know what reception to meet with.’ He fears he ‘may be chased from hence,’ and his fears were justified. On the same day (May 17) he wrote to Edgar in Rome, ‘Venice, next to France, is the best for my interest, and the only one in Italy.’

Venice ejected the Prince. On May 26 he wrote to his father:

‘Sir, - I received last night from ye Nuntio a definitive answer about my project, which is quite contrary to my expectation; as I have nothing further to do here, and would not run the least risk of being found out, I depart this very evening, having left a direction to the said Nuntio how to forward my letters for me.’ On the same day he wrote to Chioseul de Stainville, the minister at Versailles of the Empress, ‘Could an anonymous exiled Prince be received by the Kaiser and the Queen of Hungary? He would remain incognito.’

On June 3 Charles wrote to James, without address or news, and to Bulkeley. ‘Now my friend must skulk to the perfect dishonour and glory of his worthy relations, until he finds a reception fitting at home or abroad.’ On the back of the draft he writes:

‘What can a bird do that has not found a right nest? He must flit from bough to bough - ainsi use les Irondel.’

Probably Charles, after a visit, perhaps, to Ferrara, returned to Paris and his Princess. We find a draft thus conceived and spelled:


‘Goring to come here immediately, he to know nothing but that I am just arrived. I am not to go to Paris, but at the end of the month, as sooner no answer can be had, moreover perhaps obliged to wait another, which would oblige me to remain to long in P.’ He also (June 3) wrote to Montesquieu, from whom (I think) there is an unsigned friendly letter. He sent compliments to the Duchesse d’Aiguillon, a lady much attached to Montesquieu. An unsigned English letter (June 5) advised him to appear publicly. People are coming to inquire into reports about his character, ‘after which it is possible some proposals may be made to you.’ The writer will say more when ‘in a safer place.’

Newton (Kennedy), meanwhile, had been imprisoned and examined in London, but had been released, and was at Paris. He bought for the Prince ‘a fine case of double barrill pistols, made by Barber,’ and much admired ‘on this side.’ Charles expresses gratitude for the gift. Newton had been examined by the Duke of Newcastle about the 40,000 louis d’or buried at Loch Arkaig in 1740, but had given no information. On June 26 Charles again asks Bulkeley, ‘What can a bird do that has found no right nest?’

On June 30 the Prince was probably in Paris, whither we have seen that he meant to go. He had ‘found a right nest,’ and a very curious nest he had found. The secret of the Prince’s retreat became known, many years later, to Grimm, the Paris correspondent of Catherine the Great. Charles’s biographers have overlooked or distrusted Grimm’s gossip, but it is confirmed by Charles’s accidentally writing two real names, in place of pseudonyms, in his correspondence. The history of his ‘nest’ was this. After her reign as favourite of Louis XIV., Madame de Montespan founded a convent of St. Joseph, in the Rue St. Dominique, in the Faubourg St. Germain. Attached to the convent were rooms in which ladies of rank might make a retreat, or practically occupy chambers. {79}

About this convent and its inmates, Grimm writes as follows:

‘The unfortunate Prince Charles, after leaving the Bastille [really Vincennes] lay hidden for three years in Paris, in the rooms of Madame de Vassé, who then resided with her friend, the celebrated Mademoiselle Ferrand, at the convent of St. Joseph. To Mademoiselle de Ferrand the Abbé Condillac owed the ingenious idea of the statue, which he has developed so well in his treatise on “The Sensations.” The Princesse de Talmond, with whom Prince Charles was always much in love, inhabited the same house. All day he was shut up in a little garderobe of Madame de Vassé’s, whence, by a secret staircase, he made his way at night to the chambers of the Princesse. In the evening he lurked behind an alcove in the rooms of Mademoiselle Ferrand. Thus, unseen and unknown, he enjoyed every day the conversation of the most distinguished society, and heard much good and much evil spoken of himself.

‘The existence of the Prince in this retreat, and the profound mystery which so long hid him from the knowledge of the world, by a secret which three women shared, and in a house where the flower of the city and the Court used to meet, seems almost miraculous. M. de Choiseul, who heard the story several years after the departure of the Prince, could not believe it. When Minister of Foreign Affairs he wrote to Madame de Vassé and asked her for the particulars of the adventure. She told him all, and did not conceal the fact that she had been obliged to get rid of the Prince, because of the too lively scenes between him and Madame de Talmond. They began in tender effusions, and often ended in a quarrel, or even in blows. This fact we learn from an intimate friend of Madame de Vassé.’ {80}

There is exaggeration here. The Prince was not living a life ‘fugitive and cloistered’ for three whole unbroken years. But the convent of St. Joseph was one of his hiding-places from 1749 to 1752. Of Madame de Vassé I have been unable to learn much: a lady of that name was presented at Court in 1745, and the Duc de Luynes describes her as ‘conveniently handsome.’ She is always alluded to as ‘La Grandemain’ in Charles’s correspondence, but once he lets her real name slip out in a memorandum. Mademoiselle Ferrand’s father is apparently described by d’Hozier as ‘Ferrand, Ecuyer, Sieur des Marres et de Ronville en Normandie.’ Many of Charles’s letters are addressed to ‘Mademoiselle Luci,’ sister of ‘La Grandemain.’ Now Madame de Vassé seems, from a passage in the Duc de Luynes’s ‘Mémoires,’ to have been the only daughter of her father, M. de Pezé. But once, Charles, writing to ‘Mademoiselle Luci,’ addresses the letter to ‘Mademoiselle La Marre,’ for ‘Marres.’ Now, as Marres was an estate of the Ferrands, this address seems to identify ‘Mademoiselle Luci’ with Mademoiselle Ferrand, the intimate friend, not really the sister, of Madame de Vassé. Mademoiselle Ferrand, as Grimm shows, had a taste for philosophy. We shall remark the same taste in the Prince’s friend, ‘Mademoiselle Luci.’

Thus the secret which puzzled Europe is revealed. The Prince, sought vainly in Poland, Prussia, Italy, Silesia, and Staffordshire, was really lurking in a fashionable Parisian convent. Better had he been ‘where the wind blows over seven glens, and seven Bens, and seven mountain moors,’ like the Prince in the Gaelic fairy stories.

We return to details. On June 30, 1749, the Prince, still homeless, writes a curious letter to Mademoiselle Ferrand:

‘The confidence, Mademoiselle, which I propose to place in you may seem singular, as I have not the good fortune to know you. The Comtesse de Routh, however, will be less surprised.’ This lady was the wife of an Irishman commanding a regiment in the French service, one of those stationed on the frontier of Flanders. ‘You [Mademoiselle Ferrand], who have made a Relation de Cartouche [the famous robber], may consent to be the depositary of my letter. I pray you to give this letter to the Comtesse de Routh, and to receive from her all the packets addressed to Monsieur Douglas.’ He then requests Madame de Routh not to let the Waterses know that she is the intermediary.

The reason for all this secrecy is obvious. D’Argenson (not the Bête, but his brother) had threatened Waters with the loss of his head if he would not tell where the Prince was concealed {82}. The banker did not want to know the dangerous fact, and was able to deny his knowledge with a clear conscience.

On July 23 Charles again wrote to Mademoiselle Ferrand: ‘It is very bold of Cartouche to write once more, without knowing whether you wish to be concerned with him, but people of our profession are usually impudent, indeed we must be, if we are to earn our bread. . . . I pray you to have some confidence in this handwriting, and to believe that Cartouche, though he be Cartouche, is a true friend. As for his smuggling business, even if it does not succeed as he hopes, he will be none the less grateful to all who carry his flag, as he will be certain that, if he fails, it is because success is impossible.’ {83}

This letter was likely to please a romantic girl, as we may suppose Mademoiselle Ferrand to have been, despite her philosophy.

Stafford and Sheridan now kept writing pitiful appeals for money from Avignon. Charles answers (July 31, 1749):

‘I wish I were in a situation at present to relive them I estime, in an exotick cuntry that desiers nothing else but to exercise their arbitrary power in distressing all honest men, even them that [are] most allies to their own Soverain.’

Charles, in fact, was himself very poor: when money came in, either from English adherents or from the Loch Arkaig hoard, he sent large remittances to Avignon.

Money did come in, partly, no doubt, from English adherents. We find the following orders from the Prince to Colonel Goring.

From the Prince to Goring.

‘Ye 31st July, 1749.

‘I gave you Lately a proof of my Confidence, by our parting together from Avignion, so that you will not be surprized of a New Instance. You are to repair on Receipt of this to London, there to Let know to such friends as you can see, my situation, and Resolutions; all tending to nothing else but the good and relieve of our Poor Country which ever was, and shall be my only thoughts. Take Care of yr.Self, do not think to be on a detachement, but only a simple Minister that is to comback with a distinct account from them parts, and remain assured of my Constant friendship and esteem.

‘C. P. R. For GORING.
‘P.S. - Cypher.
‘I. S h a l. C o n q u e r.
‘3 w k y p t d b q x m f.
‘My name shall be John Douglas.

‘Jean Noé D’Orville & fils. A Frankfort sur Maine, a Banquier of that Town.’

The Prince may have been at Frankfort, but, as a rule, he was hiding in Lorraine when not in Paris or near it, and, as we have seen, was under the protection of various French and fashionable Flora Macdonalds. Of these ladies, ‘Madame de Beauregard’ and the Princesse de Talmond are apparently the same person. With them, or her (she also appears as la tante and la vieille), Charles’s relations were stormy. He wearied her, he broke with her, he scolded her, and returned to her again. Another protectress, Madame d’Aiguillon, was the mistress of the household most frequented by Montesquieu, le filosophe, as Charles calls him. Madame du Deffand has left to us portraits of both the Princesse de Talmond and Madame d’Aiguillon.

‘Madame de Talmond has beauty and wit and vivacity; that turn for pleasantry which is our national inheritance seems natural to her. . . . But her wit deals only with pleasant frivolities; her ideas are the children of her memory rather than of her imagination. French in everything else, she is original in her vanity. Ours is more sociable, inspires the desire to please, and suggests the means. Hers is truly Sarmatian, artless and indolent; she cannot bring herself to flatter those whose admiration she covets. . . . She thinks herself perfect, says so, and expects to be believed. At this price alone does she yield a semblance of friendship: semblance, I say, for her affections are concentrated on herself . . . She is as jealous as she is vain, and so capricious as to make her at once the most unhappy and the most absurd of women. She never knows what she wants, what she fears, whom she loves, or whom she hates. There is no nature in her expression: with her chin in the air she poses eternally as tender or disdainful, absent or haughty; all is affectation. . . . She is feared and hated by all who live in her society. Yet she has truth, courage, and honesty, and is such a mixture of good and evil that no steadfast opinion about her can be entertained. She pleases, she provokes: we love, hate, seek, and avoid her. It is as if she communicated to others the eccentricity of her own caprice.’

Where a character like hers met a nature like the Prince’s, peace and quiet were clearly out of the question.

Madame du Deffand is not more favourable to another friend of Charles, Madame d’Aiguillon. This lady gave a supper every Saturday night, where neither her husband, the lover of the Princesse de Conti, nor her son, later the successor of Choiseul as Minister of Louis XV., was expected to appear. ‘The most brilliant men, French or foreign, were her guests, attracted by her abundant, active, impetuous, and original intellect, by her elevated conversation, and her kindness of manner.’ {86} She was, according to Gustavus III., ‘the living gazette of the Court, the town, the provinces, and the academy.’ Voltaire wrote to her rhymed epistles. Says Madame du Deffand, ‘Her mouth is fallen in, her nose crooked, her glance wild and bold, and in spite of all this she is beautiful. The brilliance of her complexion atones for the irregularity of her features. Her waist is thick, her bust and arms are enormous. yet she has not a heavy air: her energy gives her ease of movement. Her wit is like her face, brilliant and out of drawing. Profusion, activity, impetuosity are her ruling qualities . . . She is like a play which is all spectacle, all machines and decorations, applauded by the pit and hissed by the boxes. . . . ’

Montesquieu was hardly a spectator in the pit, yet he habitually lived at Madame d’Aiguillon’s; ‘she is original,’ he said, and she, with Madame Dupré de Saint-Maur, watched by the death-bed of the philosopher. {87}

In unravelling the hidden allusions of Charles’s correspondence, I at first recognised Madame d’Aiguillon in Charles’s friend ‘La Grandemain.’ The name seemed a suitable sobriquet, for a lady with gros bras, like Madame d’Aiguillon, might have large hands. The friendship of ‘La Grandemain’ with the philosophe, Montesquieu, also pointed to Madame d’Aiguillon. But Charles, at a later date, makes a memorandum that he has deposited his strong box, with money, at the rooms of La Comtesse de Vassé, in the Rue Saint Dominique, Faubourg St. Germain. That box, again, as he notes, was restored by ‘La Grandemain.’ This fact, with Grimm’s anecdote, identifies ‘La Grandemain,’ not with Madame d’Aiguillon, but with Madame de Vassé, ‘the Comtesse,’ as Goring calls her, though Grimm makes her a Marquise. If Montesquieu’s private papers and letters in MS. had been published in full, we should probably know more of this matter. His relations with Bulkeley were old and most intimate. Before he died he confessed to Father Routh, an Irish Jesuit, whom Voltaire denounces in ‘Candide.’ This Routh must have been connected with Colonel Routh, an Irish Jacobite in French service, husband of Charles’s friend, ‘la Comtesse de Routh.’ Montesquieu himself, though he knew, as we shall show, the Prince’s secret, was no conspirator. Unluckily, as we learn from M. Vian’s life of the philosopher, his successors have been very chary of publishing details of his private existence. It is, of course, conceivable that Helvetius, who told Hume that his house had sheltered Charles, is the philosophe mentioned by Mademoiselle Luci and Madame de Vassé. But Charles’s proved relations with Montesquieu, and Montesquieu’s known habit of frequenting the society of his lady neighbours in the convent of St. Joseph, also his intimacy with Charles’s friend Bulkeley, who attended his death-bed, all seem rather to point to the author of ‘L’Esprit des Lois.’ The philosophes, for a moment, seem to have expected to find in Prince Charlie the ‘philosopher-king’ of Plato’s dream!

The Prince’s distinguished friends unluckily did not succeed in inspiring him with common sense.

On August 16 he defends the conduct of cette home, ou tête de fer (himself), and he writes a few aphorisms, Maximes d’un l’ome sauvage! He aimed at resembling Charles XII., called ‘Dener Bash’ by the Turks, for his obstinacy, a nickname also given by Lord Marischal to the Prince. Like Balen, he was termed ‘The Wild,’ ‘by knights whom kings and courts can tame.’ He writes to the younger Waters,

To Waters, Junior.

‘Ye 21st August, 1749.

‘I receive yrs. of ye 8th. Current with yr two as mentioned and I heve send their Answers for Avignon, plese to Enclose in it a Credit for fifteen thousand Livers, to Relive my family there, at the disposal of Stafford and Sheridan. I am sorry to be obliged oftener to draw upon you, than to remit, and cannot help Reflection on this occasion, on the Misery of that poor Popish Town, and all their Inhabitants not being worth four hundred Louidors. Mr. B. [Bulkeley] Mistakes as to my taking amis anything of him, on the contrary I am charmed to heve the opinion of everybody, particularly them Like him, as I am shure say nothing but what they think: but as I am so much imbibed in ye English air, where My only Concerns are, I cannot help sometimes differing with ye inhabitants of forain Climats.

‘I remain all yours.

‘15,000 ff. Credit for Stafford and Sheridan at Avignon.’

‘Newton’ kept writing, meanwhile, that Cluny can do nothing till winter, ‘on account of the sheilings,’ the summer habitations of the pastoral Highlanders. There may have been sheilings near the hiding-places of the Loch Arkaig treasure. On September 30 we find Charles professing his inébranlable amitié for Madame de Talmond. He bids his courier stop at Lunéville, as she may be at the Court of Stanislas there.

The results of Goring’s mission to England may be gleaned from a cypher letter of ‘Malloch’ (Balhaldie) to James. Balhaldie had been in London; he found the party staunch, ‘but frighted out of their wits.’ The usual names of the official Jacobites are given - Barrymore, Sir William Watkyns Wynne, and Beaufort. But they are all alarmed ‘by Lord Traquair’s silly indiscretion in blabbing to Murray of Broughton of their concerns, wherein he could be of no use.’ They had summoned Balhaldie, and complained of the influence of Kelly, an adviser bequeathed to Charles by his old tutor, Sir Thomas Sheridan, now dead. ‘They saw well that the Insurrection Sir James Harrington was negotiating, to be begun at Litchfield Election and Races, in September ’47, was incouraged, and when that failed, the Insurrection attempted by Lally’s influence on one Wilson, a smuggler in Sussex, which could serve no end save the extinction of the unhappy men concerned in them; therefore they had taken pains to prevent any. They lamented the last steps the Prince had taken here as scarcely reparable.’

Goring had now been with them, and they had insisted on the Prince’s procuring a reconciliation with the French Court. ‘Goring’s only business was to say that the Prince had parted with Kelly, Lally, Sir James Graeme, and Oxburgh, and the whole, and to assure friends in England that he would never more see any one of them.’ Charles was, therefore, provided by his English friends with 15,000l., and the King’s timid party of men with much to lose won a temporary triumph. He sent 21,000 livres to his Avignon household, adding, ‘I received yours with a list of my bookes: I find sumne missing of them. Particularly Fra Paulo [Sarpi] and Boccaccio, which are both rare. If you find any let me know it.’

Charles was more of a bibliophile than might be guessed from his orthography.

On November 22, 1749, Charles, from Lunéville, wrote a long letter to a lady, speaking of himself in the third person. All approaches to Avignon are guarded, to prevent his return thither. ‘Despite the Guards, they assure me that he is in France, and not far from the capital. The Lieutenant of Police has been heard to say, by a person who informed me, that he knew for certain the Prince had come in secret to Paris, and had been at the house of Monsieur Lally. The King winks at all this, but it is said that M. de Puysieux and the Mistress (Madame de Pompadour) are as ill disposed as ever. I know from a good source that 15,000l. has been sent to the Prince from England, on condition of his dismissing his household.’ {91}

The spelling of this letter is correct, and possibly the Prince did not write it, but copied it out. That Louis XV. winked at his movements is probable enough; secretive as he was, the King may have known what he concealed even from his Minister, de Puysieux.

On December 19, the Prince, who cannot have been far from Paris, sent Goring thither ‘to get my big Muff and portfeul.’ I do not know which lady he addressed, on December 10, as ‘l’Adorable,’ ‘avec toute la tendresse possible.’ On November 28, ‘R. Jackson’ writes from England. He saw Dr. King (of St. Mary Hall, Oxford), who had been at Lichfield races, ‘and had a list of the 275 gentlemen who were there.’ This Mr. Jackson was going to Jamaica, to Henry Dawkins, brother of Jemmy Dawkins, a rich and scholarly planter who played a great part, later, in Jacobite affairs.

In 1750, February found Charles still without a reply to his letter of May 26, in which he made an anonymous appeal for shelter in Imperial territories. Orders to Goring, who had been sent to Lally, bid him ‘take care not to get benighted in the woods and dangerous places.’ A good deal is said about a marble bust of the Prince at which Lemoine is working, the original, probably, of the plaster busts sold in autumn in Red Lion Square. ‘Newton’ (January 28) thinks Cluny wilfully dilatory about sending the Loch Arkaig treasure, and Æneas Macdonald, the banker, one of the Seven Men of Moidart, accuses ‘Newton’ (Kennedy) of losing 8001. of the money at Newmarket races! In fact, Young Glengarry and Archibald Cameron had been helping themselves freely to the treasure at this very time, whence came endless trouble and recriminations, as we shall see. {92}

On January 25 the Prince was embroiled with Madame de Talmond. He writes, obviously in answer to remonstrances:

‘Nous nous prometons de suivre en tout les volontés et les arrangemens de notre fidèle amie et alliée, L. P. D. T.; nous retirer aux heures qu’il lui conviendra a la ditte P, soit de jour, soit de nuit, soit de ses états, en foy de quoi nous signons. C.’

He had begun to bore the capricious lady.

Important intrigues were in the air. The Prince resembled ‘paper-sparing Pope’ in his use of scraps of writing material. One piece bears notes both of February and June 1750. On February 16 Charles wrote to Mr. Dormer, an English Jacobite:

‘I order you to go to Anvers, and there to execute my instructions without delay.’

Goring carried the letter. Then comes a despatch of June, which will be given under date.

Concerning the fatal hoard of Loch Arkaig, ‘Newton’ writes thus:-

Tho. Newton to ---

‘March 18, 1750.

‘You have on the other side the melancholy confirmation of what I apprehended. Dr. Cameron is no doubt the person here mentioned that carryd away the horses [money], for he is lately gone to Rome, as is also young Glengery, those and several others of them, have been very flush of money, so that it seems they took care of themselves. C. [Cluny] in my opinion is more to be blamed than any of them, for if he had a mind to act the honest part he certainly could have given up the whole long since. They will no doubt represent me not in the most advantageous light at Rome, for attempting to carry out of their country what they had to support them. I hope they will one day or other be obliged to give an acct. of this money, if so, least they shd. attempt to Impose upon you, you’l find my receipts to C. will exactly answer what I had already the honour of giving you an acct. of.’

Again ‘Newton’ writes:

(Tho. Newton - From G. Waters’s Letter.)

‘April 27, 1750.

‘I am honored with yours of the 6th. Inst. and nothing could equal my surprize at the reception of the Letter I sent you. I did not expect C [Cluny] was capable of betraying the confidence you had in him, and he is the more culpable, as I frequently put it in his power to acquit himself of his duty without reproach of any side. Only Cameron is returned from Rome greatly pleased with the reception he met there. I have not seen him, but he has bragged of this to many people here since his return. I never owned to any man alive to have been employed in that affair.’

In spite of Newton, it is not to be credited that Cluny, lurking in many perils on Ben Alder, was unfaithful about the treasure.

Meanwhile, Young Glengarry (whose history we give later), Archibald Cameron (Lochiel’s brother), Sir Hector Maclean, and other Jacobites, were in Rome, probably to explain their conduct about the Loch Arkaig treasure to James. He knew nothing about the matter, and what he said will find its proper place when we come to investigate the history of Young Glengarry. The Prince at this time corresponded a good deal with ‘Mademoiselle Luci,’ that fair philosophical recluse who did little commissions for him in Paris. On April 4 he wants a list of the books he left in Paris, and shows a kind heart.

‘Pray take care of the young surgeon, M. Le Coq, and see that he wants for nothing. As the lad gets no money from his relations, he may be in need.’ Charles, on March 28, writes thus to ‘Madame de Beauregard,’ which appears to be an alias of Madame de Talmond:

The Prince.

March 28, 1750.

‘A Md. Bauregor. Je vois avec Chagrin que vous vous tourmentes et mois aussi bien innutillement, et en tout sans [sens]. Ou vous voules me servire, ou vous ne Le voules pas; ou vous voules me protege, ou non; Il n’y a acune autre alternative en raison qui puis etre. Si vous voules me servire il ne faut pas me soutenire toujours que Blan [blanc] est noire, dans Les Chose Les plus palpable: et jamais Avouer que vous aves tort meme quant vous Le santes. Si vous ne voules pas me servire, il est inutile que je vous parle de ce qui me regarde: si vous voules me protege, il ne faut pas me rendre La Vie plus malheureuse qu’il n’est. Si vous voules m’abandoner il faut me Le dire en bon Francois ou Latin. Visus solum’ [sic].

Madame de Talmond sheltered the Prince both in Lorraine and in Paris. They were, unluckily, born to make each other’s lives ‘insupportable.’

Charles wrote this letter, probably to Madame d’Aiguillon, from Paris:

May 12, 1750.

‘La Multitude d’affaire de toute Espèce dont j’ai été plus que surchargé, Madame, depuis plus de quatre Mois, Chose que votre Chancelier a du vous attester, ne m’ avois permis de vous rappeller Le souvenir de vos Bontés pour Moi; qualque Long qu’ait ete Le Silance que j’ai gardé sur Le Desir que j’ai d’en mériter La Continuation j’espère qu’il ne m’en aura rien fait perdre: j’ose meme presumer Encore asses pour me flater qu’une Longue absence que je projette par raison et par une necessite absolue, ne m’efacera pas totalement de votre souvenir; Daigne Le Conserver, Madame a quelquun qui n’en est pas indigne et qui cherchera toujours a Le meriter par son tendre et respectueux attachement - a Paris Le 12 May, 1750.’

A quaint light is thrown on the Prince’s private affairs (May 12) by Waters’s note of his inability to get a packet of Scottish tartan, sent by Archibald Cameron, out of the hands of the Custom House. It was confiscated as ‘of British manufacture.’ Again, on May 18, Charles wrote to Mademoiselle Luci, in Paris. She is requested ‘de faire avoire une ouvrage de Mr. Fildings, (auteur de Tom Jones) qui s’apel Joseph Andrews, dans sa langue naturelle, et la traduction aussi.’ He also wants ‘Tom Jones’ in French, and we may infer that he is teaching to some fair pupil the language of Fielding. He asks, too, for a razor-case with four razors, a shaving mirror, and a strong pocket-book with a lock. His famous ‘chese de post’ (post-chaise) is to be painted and repaired.

Business of a graver kind is in view. ‘Newton’ (April 24) is to get ready to accompany the Prince on a long journey, really to England, it seems. Newton asked for a delay, on account of family affairs. He was only to be known to the bearer as ‘Mr. Newton,’ of course not his real name.

On May 28, Charles makes a mote about a mysterious lady, really Madame de Talmond.


‘If ye lady abandons me at the last moment, to give her the letter here following for ye F. K. [French King], and even ye original, if she thinks it necessary, but with ye greatest secrecy; apearing to them already in our confidence that I will quit the country, if she does not return to me immediately.’

 Drafts of letters to the French King, in connection with Madame de Talmond - to be delivered, apparently, if Charles died in England - will be given later. To England he was now bent on making his way. ‘Ye Prince is determined to go over at any rate,’ he wrote on a draft of May 3, 1750. {97} ‘The person who makes the proposal of coming over assures that he will expose nobody but himself, supposing the worst.’ Sir Charles Goring is to send a ship for his brother, Henry Goring, to Antwerp, early in August. ‘To visit Mr. P. of D. [unknown] . . . and to agree where the arms &c. may be most conveniently landed, the grand affair of L. [London?] to be attempted at the same time.’ There are notes on ‘referring the Funds to a free Parliament,’ ‘The Tory landed interest wished to repudiate the National Debt,’ ‘To acquaint particular persons that the K. [King] will R - ’ (resign), which James had no intention of doing.

In preparation for the insurrection Charles, under extreme secrecy, deposited 186,000 livres (‘livers!’) with Waters. He also ordered little silver counters with his effigy, as the English Government came to know, for distribution, and he commanded a miniature of himself, by Le Brun, ‘with all the Orders.’ This miniature may have been a parting gift to Madame de Talmond, or one of the other protecting ladies, ‘adorable’ or quarrelsome. It is constantly spoken of in the correspondence.

The real business in hand is revealed in the following directions for Goring. The Prince certainly makes a large order on Dormer, and it is not probable, though (from the later revelations of James Mohr Macgregor) it is possible, that the weapons demanded were actually procured.

June 8.

Letter and Directions for Goring. - ‘Mr. Dutton will go directly to Anvers and there wait Mr. Barton’s arrival and asoon as you have received his Directions you’l set out to join me, in the mean time you will concert with Dormer the properest means of procuring the things [‘arms,’ erased] I now order him, in the strictest secrecy, likewise how I could be concealed in case I came to him, and the safest way of travelling to that country?’

For Mr. Dormer. Same Date. Anvers.

‘As you have already offered me by ye Bearer, Mr. Goring, to furnish me what Arms necessary for my service I hereby desire you to get me with all ye expedition possible Twenty Thousand Guns, Baionets, Ammunition proportioned, with four thousand sords and Pistols for horces [cavalry] in one ship which is to be ye first, and in ye second six thousand Guns without Baionets but sufficient Amunition and Six thouzand Brode sords; as Mr. Goring has my further Directions to you on them Affaires Leaves me nothing farther to add at present.’

On June 11, Charles remonstrated with Madame de Talmond: if she is tired of him, he will go to ‘le Lorain.’ ‘Enfin, si vous voulez ma vie, il faut changer de tout.’ On June 27, Newton repeated his expressions of suspicion about Cluny, and spoke of ‘disputes and broils’ among the Scotch as to the seizure of the Loch Arkaig money.

On July 2, Charles, in cypher, asked James for a renewal of his commission as Regent. Goring, or Newton, was apparently sent at least as far as Avignon with this despatch. He travelled as Monsieur Fritz, a German, with complicated precautions of secrecy. James sent the warrant to be Regent on parchment - it is in the Queen’s Library - but he added that Charles was ‘a continual heartbreak,’ and warned his son not to expect ‘friendship and favours from people, while you do all that is necessary to disgust them.’ He ‘could not in decency’ see Charles’s envoy (August 4). On the following day Edgar wrote in a more friendly style, for this excellent man was of an amazing loyalty.

From James Edgar.

‘August 5, 1750: Rome.

‘Your Royal Highness does me the greatest pleasure in mentioning the desire you have to have the King’s head in an intaglio. There is nobody can serve you as well in that respect as I, so I send you by the bearers two, one on a stone like a ruby, but it is a fine Granata, and H.M.’s hair and the first letters of his name are on the inside of it. The other head is on an emerald, a big one, but not of a fine colour; it is only set in lead, so you may either set it in a ring, a seal, or a locket, as you please: they are both cut by Costanzia, and very well done.’

These intagli would be interesting relics for collectors of such flotsam and jetsam of a ruined dynasty. On August 25, Charles answered Edgar. He is ‘sorry that His Majesty is prevented against the most dutiful of sons.’ He sends thanks for the engraved stones and the powers of Regency. This might well have been James’s last news of Charles, for he was on his way to London, a perilous expedition. {101}

Chapter V - The Prince in London; And After - Footnotes

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