« 前へ次へ »
as defending the frontier against the English, sometimes as disturbing the peace of their own country. Diccon Draw-the-sword was son to the ancient warrior, called in tradition the Cock of Hunthill.
Note 8. Stanza vii. But bit his glove, and shook his head.
To hite the thumb, or the glove, seems not to have been considered, upon the Border, as a gesture of contempt, though so used, by Shakspeare, but as a pledge of mortal revenge. It is yet remembered, that a young gentleman of Teviotdale, on the morning after a hard drinking-bout, observed, that he had bitten his glove. He instantly demanded of his companions, with whom he had quarrelled? and learning that he had had words with one of the party, insisted on instant satisfaction, asserting that though he remembered nothing of the dispute, yet he was sure he never would have bit his glove unless he had received some unpardonable insult. He fell in the duel, which was fought near Selkirk, in 1721. Note 9. Stanza viii. —Arthur Fire-the-Braes.
The person bearing this redoubtable nom de guerre was an Elliot, and resided at Thorleshope, in Liddesdale. He occurs in the list of Border riders, in 1597.
Note to. Stanza viii.
Since old Buccleuch the name did gain, When in the cleuch the buck was ta'en.
A tradition, preserved by Scott of Satchells, who published, in 1688, A true History of the flight Honourable Name of Scott, gives the following romantic origin of that name. Two brethren, natives of Galloway, having been banished from that country for a riot, or insurrection, came to Rankelburn, in Ettrick Forest, where the keeper, whose name was Brydone, received them joyfully, on account of their skill in winding the horn, and in the other mysteries of the chace.—Kenneth Mac-Alpin, then kins; of Scotland, came soon after to hunt in the royal forest, and pursued a buck from Ettrick-heuch to the glen now called Buckleuch, about two miles above the junction of Rankelburn with the river Ettrick.-Here the stag stood at bay; and the king and his attendants who followed on horseback, were thrown out by the steepness of the hill and the morass. John, one of the brethren from Galloway, had followed the chace on foot; and, now coming in, seized the buck by the horns, and, being a man of great strength and activity, threw him on his back, and ran with his burden about a mile up the steep hill, to a place called Cracra-Cross, where Kenneth had halted, and laid the buck at the sovereign's feet."
The deer being curee'd in that place,
* Froissart relates, that a knight of the household of the Comte de Foix exhibited a similar seat of strength. The hall fire had waxed low, and wood was wanted to mend it. The knight went down to the court-yard, where stood an ass laden with faggots, seized on the animal and his burden, and carrying him up to the ball on his shoulders, tumbled him into the chimney with his heels uppermost ; a humane pleasantry, much applauded by the court and all the spectators.
The king did wash into a dish
He said, - Thy name now after this
• The forest and the deer therein. We commit to thy hand, For thou shalt sure the ranger be, If thou obey command : And for the buck thou stoutly brought To us up that steep heugh, Thy designation ever shall Be John Scot in Buckscleugh.- - - - In Scotland no Buckcleuch was then, Before the buck in the cleach was slain; Night's men' at first they did appear, Because moon and stars to their arms they bear. Their crest, supporters, and hunting-born, Shews their beginning from huntin; come; Their name, and stile, the book doth say, John gain'd them boub into one day. Warr's Bellenden.
The Buccleuch arms have been altered, and now allude less pointedly to this hunting, whether real or fabulous. The family now bear Or upon a bend azure, a mullet betwixt two crescents of the field; in addition to which they formerly bore in the field a hunting-horn. The supporters, now two ladies, were formerly a hound and buck, or, according to the old terms, a hart of leash and a hart of greece. The family of Scott of Ilowpasley and Thirlestane long retained the bugle-horn: they also carried a bent bow and arrow in the sinister cantle, perhaps as a difference. It is said the motto was, Best riding by moonlight, in alluding to the crescents on the shield and perhaps to the habits of those who bore it. The motto now given is Amo, applying to the female supporters.
Note 1 1. Stanza x.
—-old Albert Graeme, The minstrel of that ancient name.
Johne Grahame, second son of Malice, Earl of Monteith, commonly surnamed John with the Bright Sword, upon some displeasure risen against him at court, retired with many of his clan and kindred, into the English Borders, in the reign of King Henry the Fourth, where they seated themselves; and many of their posterity have continued there ever since. Mr Sandford, speaking of them, says (which indeed was applicable to most of the Borderers on both sides),
* . Minions of the moon. - as Falstaff would have said. The vocation pursued by our ancient Borderers may be justified on the authority of the most polished of the ancient nations: - For the Grecians in old time, and such barbarians as in the continent lived neere into the sea, or else inhabited the islands, after once they began to crosse over one to another in ships, became theeves, and went abroad under the conduct of their more puissant men, both to enrich themselves, and to fetch in maintenance for the weak, and falling upon towns unfortified, or scatteringly inhabited, rifled them, and made this the best means of their living; bei ruauter at that time nowhere in disgrace, but rather carrying with it something of glory. This is manifested by some that dwell upon the continent, amongst whom, so it be performed nobly, it is still esteemed as an ornament. The same is also proved by some of the ancient poets, who introduced men questioning of such as sail by. on all coasts alike, whether they be theeves or not; as a thing newther scorned by such as were asked, nor upbraided by those that were desirous to know. They also robbed one another within the main land; and much of Greece useth that old custone, as the Locrians, the Acarnanians, and those of the coutinent in ibat quartet, unto this day. Moreover, the fashion of wearing iron remaineth yet with the people of that continent, from their old trade of theeving.” –ilouers' Thucydides, p. 4. Loud. 1629.
• They were all stark moss-troopers, and arrant thieves: Both to England and Scotland outlawed; yet sometimes connived at because they gave intelligence forth of Scotland, and would raise 4oo horse at any time upon a raid of the English into Scotland. A saying is recorded of a mother to her son (which is now become proverbial), Ride, Rowley, hough 's i' the pot; that is, the last piece of beef was in the pot, and therefore it was high time for him to go and fetch more.w-Introduction to the History of Cumberland.
The residence of the Graemes being chiefly in the Debateable Land, so called because it was claimed by both kingdoms, their depredations extended both to England and Scotland, with impunity; for as both wardens accounted them the proper subjects for their own prince, neither inclined to demand reparation for their excesses from the opposite officers, which would have been an acknowledgment of his jurisdiction over them.—See a long correspondence on this subject betwixt Lord Dacre, and the English Privy Council, in Introduction to History of Cumberland. The Debateable Land was finally divided betwixt england and Scotland, by commissioners appointed by both nations.
Note 12. Stanza Xi. (The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall).
This burden is adopted, with some alteration, from an old Scottish song, beginning thus: She lean'd her back against a thorn, The sun shines fair on Carlisle wa"; And there she has her young babe born, And the lyon shall be lord of a '.
Note 13. Stanza xiii. who has not heard of Surrey's fame?
The gallant and unfortunate Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was unquestionably the most accomplished cavalier of his time; and his sonnets display beauties which would do honour to a more polished age. He was beheaded on Tower-hill in 1546; a victim to the mean jealousy of Henry VIII, who could not bear so brilliant a character near his throne. The song of the supposed bard is founded on an incident said to have happened to the earl in his travels. Cornelius Agrippa, the celebrated alchemist, showed him, in a looking-glass, the lovely Geraldine, to whose service he had devoted his pen and his sword. The vision represented her as indisposed, and reclined upon a couch, reading her lover's verses by the light of a waxen taper. Note 14. Stanza xxi. ——the storm-swept Orcades, where erst St Clairs held princely sway, O'er isle and islet, strait and bay. The St Clairs are of Norman extraction, being descended from William de St Clair, second son of Walderne Comte de St Clair, and Margaret, daughter to Richard Duke of Normandy. He was called, for his fair deportment, the Seemly St Clair; and, settling in Scotland during the reign of Malcolm Ceannore, obI tained large grants of land in Mid-Lothian.-These domains were increased by the liberality of succeeding monarchs to the descendants of the family, and comprehended the baronies of Rosline, Pentland, Cowsland, Cardaine, and several others. It is said a large addition was obtained from Robert Bruce, on the following occasion: The king, in following the chase upon Pentland
hills, had often started a a white faunch deer,” which had always escaped from his hounds; and he asked the nobles who were assembled around him, whether any of them had dogs which they thought might be more successful. No courtier would affirm that his hounds were theeter than those of the king, until Sir William St Clair of Rosline unceremoniously said, he would wager his head that his two favourite dogs, help and Hold, would kill the deer before she should cross the March-burn. The king instantly caught at his unwary offer, and betted the forest of Pentland-moor against the life of Sir William St Clair. All the hounds were tied up, except a few ratches, or slow-hounds, to put up the deer; whilst Sir William St Clair, posting himself in the best situation for slipping his dogs, prayed devoutly to Christ, the blessed Virgin, and St Katherine. The deer was shortly after roused, and the hounds slipped; Sir William following on a gallant steed, to cheer his dogs. The hind, however, reached the middle of the brook, upon which the hunter threw himself from his horse in despair. At this critical moment, however, Hold stopped her in the brook; and IIelp, coming up, turned her back, and killed her on Sir William's side. The king descended from the hill, embraced Sir William, and bestowed on him the lands of Kirkton, Logan-house, Earncraig, etc. in free forestrie. Sir William in acknowledgment of St Katherine's intercession, built the chapel of St Katherine in the Hopes, the church-yard of which is still to be seen. The hill, from which Robert Bruce beheld this memorable chase, is still called the King's Hill; and the place where Sir William hunted is called the Knight's Field." —M.S. History of the Family of St Clair, by Rich And Augustin Hay, Canon of st Genevieve.
This adventurous huntsman married Elizabeth, daughter of Malice Spar, Earl of Orkney and Stratherne, in whose right their son Henry was, in 1370, created Earl of Orkney, by Haco, king of Norway. His title was recognised by the kings of Scotland, and remained with his successors until it was annexed to the crown, in 1471, by act of parliament. In exchange for this earldom, the castle and domains of Ravenscraig, or Ravensheuch, were conferred on William Saintclair, Earl of Caithness.
Note 15. Stanza xxi. Still nods their palace to its fall, Thy pride and sorrow, fair Kirkwall.
The castle of Kirkwall was built by the St Clairs. while Earls of Orkney. It was dismantled by the Earl of Caithness about 1615, having been garrisoned against the government by Robert Stewart, natural son to the Earl of Orkney.
Its ruins afforded a sad subject for contemplation to
* The tomb of Sir William St Clair, on which he appears sculptured in armour, with a greyhound at his feet, is still to be seen in Roslin chapel. The person who shows it always tells the story of his hunting-match, with some addition to Mr Hay's account; as, that the knight of Roslin's fright made him poetical, and that, in the last emergency, he shouted, Help, Haud, an' ye may, or Roslin will lose his head this day. If this couplet does him no great honour as a poet, the conclusion of the story does him still less credit. He set his foot on the doff, says the narrator, and killed him on the spot, saying he should never again put his neck in such a risk. As Mr Hay does not mention this circumstance, I hope it is only founded on the couchant posture of the hound on the monument.
John, Master of St Clair, who, flying from his native country, on account of his share in the insurrection in 1715, made some stay at Kirkwall.
. I had occasion to entertain myself at Kirkwall with the melancholy prospect of the ruins of an old castle, the seat of the old Earls of Orkney, my ancestors; and of a more melancholy reflection, of so great and noble an estate as the Orkney and Shetland Isles being taken from one of them by James the Third for faultre, after his brother Alexander, Duke of Albany, had married a daughter of my family, and for protecting and defending the said Alexander against the king, who wished to kill him, as he had done his youngest brother, the Earl of Mar; and for which, after the forfaltrie, he gratefully divorced my forfaulted ancestor's sister; though I cannot persuade myself that he had any misalliance to plead against a familie in whose veins the blood of Robert Bruce runs as fresh as in his own; for their title to the crown was by a daughter of David Bruce, son to Robert; and our ailiance was by marrying a grandchild of the same Robert Bruce, and daughter to the sister of the same David, out of the familie of Douglas; which at that time did not much sullie the blood, more than my ancestour's having not long before had the honour of marrying a daughter of the king of Denmark's, who was named Florentine, and has left in the town of Kirkwall a noble monument of the grandeur of the times, the finest church ever I saw entire in Scotland. I then had no small reason to think, in that unhappy state, on the many not inconsiderable services rendered since to the royal familie, for these many years by-gone, on all occasions when they stood most in need of friends, which they have thought themselves very often obliged to acknowledge by letters yet extant, and in a stile more like friends than souveraigns; our attachment to them, without any other thanks, having brought upon us considerable losses, and among others, that of our all in Cromwell's time; and left in that condition, without the least relief except what we found in our own virtue. My father was the only man of the Scots nation who had courage enough to protest in parliament against King William's title to the throne, which was lost, God knows how ; and this at a time when the losses in the cause of the royall familie, and their usual gratitude, had scarce left him bread to maintain a numerous familie of eleven children, who had soon after sprung up on him, in spite of all which, he had honourably persisted in his principle. I say, these things considered, and after being treated as I was, and in that unluckie state, when objects appear to men in their true light, as at the hour of death, could I be blamed for making some bitter reflections to myself, and laughing at the extravagance and unaccountable humour of men, and the singularity of my own case (an exile for the cause of the Stuart family), when I ought to have known, that the greatest crime I, or my family, could have committed, was persevering, to my own destruction, in serving the royal family faithfully, though obstinately, after so great a share of depression, and after they had been pleased to doom me and my family to starve."—Ms. Memoirs of John, Master of st Clair.
Note 16. Stanza xxii.
The chiefs of the Wakingr, or Scandinavian pirates,
assumed the title of Saekonungr, or Sea-kings. Ships, in the inflated language of the Scalds, are often termed the serpents of the ocean.
Note 17. Stanza xxii. Of that sea-snake, tremendous curl’d, Whose monstrous circle girds the world. The jormungandr, or snake of the ocean, whose folds surround the earth, is one of the wildest fictions of the Edda. It was very nearly caught by the god Thor, who went to fish for it with a hook baited with a bull's head. In the battle betwixt the evil demons and the divinities of Odin, which is to precede the Ragnaraokr, or Twilight of the Gods, this snake is to act a conspicuous part.
Note 18. Stanza xxii.
Maddens the battle's bloody swell. These were the Palkyriur, or Selectors of the slain, dispatched by Odin from Valhalla, to chuse those who were to die, and to distribute the contest. They are well known to the English reader, as Gray's Fatal Sisters.
Note 19. Stanza xxii. Ransack'd the fraves of warriors old, Their falchions wrench'd from corpses hold. The northern warriors were usually entombed with their arms, and their other treasures. Thus, Antjantyr, before commencing the duel in which he was slain, stipulated, that if he fell, his sword Tyrfing should be buried with him. His daughter, Hervor, afterwards took it from his tomb. The dialogue which past betwixt her and Angantyr's spirit on this occasion has been often translated. The whole history may be found in the Harvarar-Saga. Indeed the ghosts of the northern warriors were not wont tamely to suffer their tombs to be plundered ; and hence the mortal heroes had an additional temptation to attempt such adventures; for they held nothing more worthy of their valour than to encounter supernatural beings.-BART holinus De causi, contempta, a Danis mortis, lib. 1, cap. 2, 9, 10, 13.
Note 20. Stanza xxiii. ——Rosabelle.
This was a family name in the house of St Clair. Henry St Clair, the second of the line, married Rosabelle, fourth daughter of the Earl of Stratherne.
Note 2 1. Stanza xxiii.
—Castle Ravensheuch. A large and strong castle, now ruinous, situated betwixt Kirkaldy and Dysart, on a steep crag, washed by : the Frith of Forth. It was conferred on Sir William St Clair, as a slight compensation for the earldom of Orkney, by a charter of King James III, dated in 14:1, and is now the property of Sir James St Clair Erskine (now Earl of Rosslyn), representative of the family. It was long a principal residence of the barons of Roslin.
Note 22. Stanza xxiii. Seem'd all on fire that chapel proud, where Roslin's chiefs uncoffin'd lie; Each baron, for a satile shroud, Sheath'd in his iron panoply. The beautiful chapel of Roslin is still in tolerable preservation. It was founded in 1446 by william St
Clair, Prince of Orkney, Duke of Oldenbourgh, Earl of Caithness and Stratherne, Lord Saint Clair, Lord Niddesdale, Lord Admiral of the Scottish seas, Lord Chief Justice of Scotland, Lord Warden of the three Marches, Baron of Roslin, Peutland, Pentland-moor, etc. Knight of the Cockle and of the Garter (as is affirmed), High Chancellor, Chamberlain, and Lieutenant of Scotland. This lofty person, whose titles, says Godscroft, might weary a Spaniard, built the castle of Iłoslin, where he resided in princely splendour, and founded the chapel, which is in the most rich and florid style of Gothic architecture. Among the profuse carving on the pillars and buttresses, the rose is frequently introduced, in allusion to the name, with which, however, the slower has no connexion; the etymology being Rosslinnhe, the promontory of the linn, or water-fall. The chapel is said to appear on fire previous to the death of any of his descendants. This superstition, noticed by Slezer in his Theatrim Scotiae, and alluded to in the text, is probably of Norwegian derivation, and may have been imported by the Earls of Orkney into their Lothian domains. The tomb-fires of the north are mentioned in most of the sagas. The Barons of Roslin were buried in a vault beneath the chapel floor. The manner of their interment is thus described by Father Hay, in the MS. history already quoted. • Sir William Sinclair, the father, was a leud man. He kept a miller's daughter, with whom, it is alledged, he went to Ireland; yet I think the cause of his retreat was rather occasioned by the presbyterians, who vexed him sadly, because of his religion being Roman catholic. His son, Sir William, died during the troubles, and was interred in the chapel of Roslin, the very same day that the battle of Dunbar was fought. When my good father was buried, his (i. e. Sir William's) corpse seemed to be entire at the opening of the cave; but when they came to touch his body, it fell into dust. He was laying in his armour, with a red velvet cap on his head, on a flat stone; nothing was spoiled except a piece of the white furring, that went round the cap, and answered to the hinder part of the head. All his predecessors were buried after the same manner, in their armour: late Rosline, my good-father, was the first that was buned in a coffin, against the sentiments of King James the Seventh, who was then in Scotland, and several other persons well versed in antiquity, to whom my mother would not hearken, thinking it beggarly to be buried after that manner. The great expenses she was at in burying her husband occasioned the sumptuary acts which were made in the following parliament."
Mauthe Dooq, in the shape of a large black spaniel, with curled shaggy hair, was used to haunt Peel-castle; and has been frequently seen in every room, but particularly in the guard-chamber, where, as soon as candies were lighted, it came and lay down before the fire, in presence of all the soldiers, who, at length, by being so much accustomed to the sight of it, lost great part of the terror they were seized with at its first appearance. They still, however, retained a certain awe, as believing it was an evil spirit, which only waited permission to do them hurt; and, for that reason, forbore swearing, and all prophane discourse, while in its company. But though they endured the shock of such a guest when altogether in a body, none cared to be left alone with it. It being the custom, therefore, for one of the soldiers to lock the gates of the castle at a certain hour, and carry the keys to the captain, to whose apartment, as I said before, the way led through the church, they agreced among themselves, that whoever was to succeed the ensuing night his fellow in this errand, should accompany him that went first, and by this means no man would be exposed singly to the danter: for I forgot to mention, that the tauthe Doog, was always seen to come out from that passage at the close of day; and return to it again as soon as the morning dawned; which made then look on this place as its peculiar residence. • One night, a fellow being drunk, and by the strength of his liquor rendered more daring than ordinarily, laughed at the simplicity of his companions; and, though it was not his turn to go with the keys, would needs take that office upon him to testify his courage. All the soldiers endeavoured to dissuade him, but the more they said, the more resolute he seemed, and swore that he desired nothing more than that the Mauthe Doog would follow him, as it had done the others; for he would try if it were dog or devil. After having talked in a very reprobate manner for some time, he snatched up the keys, and went out of the guard-room; in some time after his departure, a great noise was heard, but nobody had the boldness to see what occasioned it, till, the adventurer returning, they demanded the knowledge of him; but as loud and noisy as he had been at leaving them, he was now become sober and silent enough; for he was never heard to speak more: and though all the time he lived, which was three days, he was entreated by all who came near him, either to speak, or if he could not do that, to make some signs, by which they inight understand what had happened to him; yet nothing intelligible could be got from him, only that, by the distortion of his limbs and features, it might be guessed that he died in agonies more than is common in a matural death. “The Mauthe Doog was, however, never after seen in the castle, nor would any one attempt to go through that passage; for which reason it was closed up, and another way made. This accident happened about threescore years since; and I heard it attested by several, but especially by an old soldier, who assured me he had seen it oftener than he had then hairs on his head..—WAlphon's Description of the 1sle of Man, p. 107. Note 25. Stanza xxvii. And he a solemn sacred plight Did to St Bride of Douglas make. This was a favourite saint of the house of Douglas, s
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY, LORD MONTAGUE, Etc. Qs big komanre is jusrtibru,
It is hardly to be expected that an author whom the public has honoured with some degree of applause, should not be again a trespasser on their kindness. Yet the author of Mahmion must be supposed to feel some anxiety concerning its success, since he is sensible that he hazards, by this second intrusion, any reputation which his first poem may have procured him. The present story turns upon the private adventures of a fictitious character; but is called a Tale of Flodden Field, because the hero's fate is connected with that memorable defeat, and the causes which led to it. The design of the author was, if possible, to apprise his readers, at the outset, of the date of his story, and to prepare them for the manners of the age in which it is laid. Any historical narrative, far more an attempt at epic composition, exceeds his plan of a romantic tale; yet he may he permitted to hope, from the popularity of The LAY of the Last Minsrael, that an attempt to paint the manners of the feudal times, upon a broader scale, and in the course of a more interesting story, will not be unacceptable to the public."
The Poem opens about the commencement of August, and concludes with the defeat of Flodden, 9th September, 1513. |
INTRODUCTION TO CANTO I.
To william STEwART Rose, ESQ. Ashestiel, Ettrick Forest
November's sky is chill and drear, November's leaf is red and sear:
BY THE AUTHOR.
Late, gazing down the steepy linn,
No longer autumn's glowing red Upon our Forest hills is shed; No more, beneath the evening beam, Fair Tweed reflects their purple gleam; Away hath pass'd the heather-bell That bloom'd so rich on Needpath-fell; Sallow his brow, and russet bare Are now the sister-heights of Yare. The sheep, before the pinching heaven, To shelter'd dale and down are driven, Where yet some faded herbage pines, And yet a watery sun-beam shines: In meek despondency they eye The wither'd sward and wintry sky, And far beneath their summer hill, Stray sadly by Glenkinnon's rill: The shepherd shifts his mantle's fold, And wraps him closer from the cold; His dogs no merry circles wheel, But, shivering, follow at his heel; A cowering glance they often cast, As deeper moans the gathering blast.
My imps, though hardy, bold, and wild, As bests befits the mountain-child, Feel the sad influence of the hour, And wail the daisy's vanish'd flower;