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Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland
Volume 14

written by "Leighton, Alexander, 1800-1874"
...eed, does Alice Cockburn deserve at yer hands!—for but for me, and my puir Alexander might this day hae been in life, and held yer hand in his. But forgie me, hinny! It was in a guid cause that I hae sacrificed a' that was dear to me in this warld—only, it was a sair, sair stroke upon a mother!" Flora strove to comfort her; but it was in vain. She didna repine, neither did she murmur as those who have no hope; but her health, which had never been what doctors would call robust, was unable to stand the shock which her feelings had met wi'; and, in a few weeks after hearing o' the deaths o' her children, Alice Cockburn was gathered wi' the dead, and Flora Stuart accompanied her body mourning to the grave. I have mentioned that Alexander concealed himself on board a vessel which sailed for London. He had been three days at sea before he ventured from the place o' his concealment, and the captain himself being the son o' a Covenanter, he was conveyed to the great city in safety. He had been but a short time in London, when, meeting with a gentleman who belonged to the neighbourhood o' Dunse, he learned that his mother was dead, and that his father's brother, believing that he was dead also, had taken possession o' the property. Alexander had never had the same religious feelings in the cause in which he had been engaged, that his father and his brothers had. He fought for the sake o' what he called liberty, rather than for any feeling o' conscience; and his ruling passion was a love o' warlike adventures. He, therefore, had been but a short time in London, when he joined the Parliamentary army; and his courage and talents soon drew upon him the notice o' Cromwell, and others o' the Parliamentary leaders. It was about six years after the battle o' Tippermuir, when one, who was supposed to be a spy from the royalists, fell into the hands o' a party belonging to the Parliamentary army. He was examined, and evidence bearing...

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