Heroes of Scotland Boxed Set

District Tartans

Lord Clyde,
page 9 of 9

resignation. He said on more than one occasion to his friend General Eyre, who was seldom away from his chief during his last days, “Mind this, Eyre, I die at peace with all men!” This expression, coming from the lips of the man who was known during all his days as “war-bred Sir Colin,” had surely a pathetic significance. He frequently asked Mrs. Eyre to join with him in prayer, and derived much consolation on hearing her read from the Bible or repeat some of his favourite hymns. His love for the old Scottish songs and ballads remained with him to the last. At times he wandered in his mind, and on one occasion when the soldiers’ bugle sounded in the square near where he was lying, he started suddenly up and exclaimed, “I’m ready!” This incident is quite as fine in its pathos as the immortal “Adsum!” of Thackeray’s grand old hero, Colonel Newcome. On another occasion, after a paroxysm of pain, he exclaimed, “Oh, for the pure air of heaven, that I might be laid in peace in the lap of the Almighty!” And again, on the 24th July, he said to his friend, General Eyre, “I should like to live till to-morrow, as it is the anniversary of San Sebastian, which is perhaps a fitting day for the old soldier to die!” On the 14th August the spirit of the hero passed away—

“To where, beyond these voices, there is peace.”

On the 21st August, in Westminster Abbey, were laid, with all the pomp of the fullest military honours, the mortal remains of him who died the foremost soldier of Britain of his day. A plain stone, marking the spot where he lies, is inscribed with the words: “Beneath this stone rest the remains of Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde, who, by his own deserts, through fifty years of arduous service, from the earliest battle in the Peninsular War to the pacification of India in 1858, rose to the rank of Field-Marshal and the peerage. He died lamented by the Queen, the army, and the people, on 14th August, 1863, in the 71st year of his age.” Several statues have been raised to his memory over the kingdom, possibly the best being this one in George Square, which, with fitting appropriateness, is near that of his first great chief, Sir John Moore.

The life of our illustrious citizen has to us the deepest lessons. There is no one amongst our great men whom any lad could hold before him as a loftier ideal in humility, integrity, patience, perseverance, truthfulness, and loyalty to duty. Loyalty to duty is the lesson of his life. Ever patient, he did what was right, regardless how long he might be neglected. And, when success crowned him, it did not change his nature. He had ever a healthy scorn for actions which savoured of theatrical display, and considered the approval of conscience as the loftiest reward a man can obtain here.


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