by Robert Louis Stevenson
Kidnapped Patriotism Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Ye would make a fool's bargain," said [Alan to Captain Hoseason]. "My chief, let me tell you, sir, is forfeited, like every honest man in Scotland. His estate is in the hands of the man they call King George; and it is his officers that collect the rents, or try to collect them." (9.29)
The important question in Kidnapped is not whether or not you are patriotic, but which concept of Scotland you're loyal to. For Alan, his Scotland is not the one ruled by English King George II.
At that period (so soon after the forty-five) there were many exiled gentlemen coming back at the peril of their lives, either to see their friends or to collect a little money; and as for the Highland chiefs that had been forfeited, it was a common matter of talk how their tenants would stint themselves to send them money, and their clansmen outface the soldiery to get it in, and run the gauntlet of our great navy to carry it across. All this I had, of course, heard tell of; and now I had a man under my eyes whose life was forfeit on all these counts and upon one more, for he was not only a rebel and a smuggler of rents, but had taken service with King Louis of France. And as if all this were not enough, he had a belt full of golden guineas round his loins. Whatever my opinions, I could not look on such a man without a lively interest. (9.35)
Even before hearing confirmation from Alan, Davie has heard tales that "tenants would stint themselves" to send money to their Highland chiefs. In other words, for these tenants, the best form of patriotism for Scotland is to support their lairds in exile.
"Ah!" says he, falling again to smiling, "I got my wastefulness from the same man I got the buttons from; and that was my poor father, Duncan Stewart, grace be to him! He was the prettiest man of his kindred; and the best swordsman in the Hielands, David, and that is the same as to say, in all the world, I should ken, for it was him that taught me. He was in the Black Watch, when first it was mustered; and, like other gentlemen privates, had a gillie at his back to carry his firelock for him on the march. Well, the King, it appears, was wishful to see Hieland swordsmanship; and my father and three more were chosen out and sent to London town, to let him see it at the best. " (12.10)
So Alan doesn't come from a long line of Jacobites! Despite the fact that he believes the King of England was not the rightful king at the time, Alan still takes pride in the fact that his father performed feats of fencing in front of him. So there's some status accorded to the fact of being king, even if this isn't (according to Alan) the real king.