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tage of strength, numbers, surprise, and arms, to accomplish their revenge. The Sieur de Brantome, to whose discourse on duels I am obliged for these particulars, gives the following account of the death and principles of his friend, the Baron de Vitaux :— " J'ay oui conter à un Tireur d'armes, qui apprit à Millaud à en tirer, lequel s'appelloit Seigneur le Jacques Ferron, de la ville d'Ast, qui avoit esté à moy, il fut despuis tué à Saincte-Basille en Gascogne, lors que Monsieur du Mayne l'assiégea, lui servant d'Ingénieur; et de malheur, je l'avois addressé audit Baron quelques trois mois auparavant, pour l'exercer à tirer, bien qu'il en sçeust prou ; mais il ne'en fit compte; et le laissant Millaud s'en servit, et le rendit fort adroit. Ce Seigneur Jacques donc me raconta, qui'l s'estoit monté sur un noyer, assez loing, pour en voir le combat, et qu'il ne vist jamais homme y aller plus bravement, ny plus résolument, ny de grace plus asseurée ny déterminée. Il commença de marcher de cinquante pas vers son enemy, relevant souvent ses moustaches en haut d'une main ;. et estant à vingt pas de son ennemy (non plustost), il mit la main à l'espée quil tenoit en la main, non qu'il l'eust tirée encore : mais en marchant, il fit voller le fourreau en l'air, en le secouant, ce qui est le beau de cela, et qui monstroit bien un grace de combat bien asseurée et froide, et nullement téméraire, comme il y en a qui tirent leurs espées de cinq cents pas de l'ennemy, voire de mille, comme j'en ay veu aucuns. Ainsi mourut ce brave Baron, le parogon de France, qu'on nommoit tel, à bien venger ses querelles, par grandes et déterminées résolutions. Il n'estoit pas seulement estimé en France, mais en Italie, Espaigne, Alle
maigne, en Boulogne et Angleterre; et desiroient fort les Estrangers, venant en France, le voir; car je l'ay veu, tant sa renommée volloit. Il estoit fort petit de corps, mais fort grand de courage. Ses ennemis disoient qu'il ne tuoit pas bien ses gens, que par advantages et supercheries. Certes, je tiens de grands capitaines, et mesme d'Italiens, qui ont estez d'autres fois les premiers vengeurs du monde, in ogni modo, disoient-ils, qui ont tenu cette maxime, qu'une supercherie ne se devoit payer que par semblable monnoye, et n’y alloit point la de déshonneur.”—Oeuvres de Brantome, Paris, 1787–8. Tome viii. p. 90–92. It may be necessary to inform the reader, that this paragon of France was the most foul assassin of his time, and had committed many desperate murders, chiefly by the assistance of his hired banditti; from which it may be conceived how little the point of honour of
the period deserved its name. I have chosen to give my heroes, who are indeed of an earlier period, a stronger tincture of the spirit of chivalry.
Every burgh of Scotland, of the least note, but more especially the considerable towns, had their solemn play, or festival, when feats of archery were exhibited, and prizes distributed to those who excelled in wrestling, hurling the bar, and the other gymnastic exercises of the period. Stirling, a usual place of royal residence, was not likely to be deficient in pomp
upon such occasions, especially since James V, was very partial to them. His ready participation in these popular amusements was one cause of his acquiring the title of the King of the Commons, or Rev Plebeiorum, as Lesley has latinized it. The usual prize to the best shooter was a silver arrow. Such a one is preserved at Selkirk and at Peebles. At Dumfries, a silver gun was substituted, and the contention transferred to fire-arms. The ceremony, as there performed, is the subject of an excellent Scottish poem, by Mr. John Mayne, entitled the Siller Gun, 1808, which surpasses the efforts of Fergusson, and comes near to those of Burns. Of James's attachment to archery, Pitscottie, the faithful, though rude recorder of the manners of that period, has given us evidence – “In this year there came an embassador out of England, named Lord William Howard, with a bishop with him, with many other gentlemen, to the number of threescore horse, which were all able men and waled [picked] men for all kinds of games and past. times, shooting, louping, running, wrestling, and casting of the stone, but they were well 'sayed [essayed or tried] ere they passed out of Scotland, and that by their own provocation; but ever they tint: till at last, the Queen of Scotland, the king's mother, favoured the English-men, because she was the King of England's sister; and therefore she took an enterprise of archery upon the English-men's hands, contrary her son the king, and any six in Scotland that he would wale, either gentlemen or yeomen, that the English-men should shoot against them, either at pricks, revers, or buts, as the Scots pleased.
“The king, hearing this of his mother, was content, and gart her pawn a hundred crowns, and a tun of wine, upon the English-men's hands; and he incontinent laid down as much for the Scottish-men. The field and ground was chosen in St. Andrews, and three landed men and three yeomen chosen to shoot against the English-men, to wit, David Wemyss of that ilk, David Arnot of that ilk, and Mr. John Wedderburn, vicar of Dundee: the yeomen, John Thomson, in Leith, Steven Taburner, with a piper, called Alexander Bailie; they shot very near, and warred [worsted] the Englishmen of the enterprise, and wan the hundred crowns and the tun of wine, which made the king very merry that his men wan the victory.”— P. 147.
These drew not for their fields the sword,
The Scottish armies consisted chiefly of the nobility and barons, with their vassals, who held lands under them, for military service by themselves and their tenants. The patriarchal influence exercised by the heads of clans in the Highlands and Borders was of a different nature, and sometimes at variance with feudal principles. It flowed from the Patria Potestas, exercised by the chieftain as representing the original father of the whole name, and was often obeyed in contradiction to the feudal superior. James V seems to have first introduced, in addition to the militia furnished from these sources, the service of a small number of mercenaries, who formed a body-guard, called the Foot-Band. The satirical poet, Sir David Lindsay, (or the person who wrote the prologue to his play of the “Three Estaites,”) has introduced Finlay of the Foot-Band, who, after much swaggering upon the stage, is at length put to flight by the Fool, who terrifies him by means of a sheep's skull upon a pole. I have rather chosen to give them the harsh features of the mercenary soldiers of the period, than of this Scottish Thraso. These partook of the character of the Adventurous Companions of Froissart or the Condottieri of Italy. One of the best and liveliest traits of such manners is the last will of a leader, called Geffroy Tete Noir, who having been slightly wounded in a skirmish, his intemperance brought on a mortal disease. When he found himself dying, he summoned to his bedside the adventurers whom he commanded, and thus addressed them :
“Fayre sirs, quod Geffray, I knowe well ye have alwayes served and honoured me as men ought to serve their soveraygne and capitayne, and I shall be the gladder if ye wyll agre to have to your capitayne one that is descended of my blode. Beholde here Aleyne Roux, my cosyn, and Peter his brother, who are men of armes and of my blode. I require you to make Aleyne your capitayne, and to swere to hym saythe, obeysaunce, love, and loyalte, here in my presence, and also to his brother: howe be it, I wyll that Aleyne have the soverayne charge. Sir, quod they,