day, when, whether as dedicated to Venus, with whom, in Germany, this subterraneous people are held nearly connected, or for a more solemn reason, they are more active, and possessed of greater power. Some curious particulars concerning the popular superstitions of the Hiflhlandefii may be found in Dr Graham's u Picturesque Sketches of Perthshire.»

Note 7. Introduction. ——tbe towers ofllranchémont.

Thejournal of the friend to whom the Fourth Canto of the poem is inscribed, furnished me with the follow-' mg account of a striking superstition.

u Passed the pretty little village of Franchémont (near Spaw), with the romantic ruins of the old castle of the counts of that name. The road leads through many delightful vales, on a rising ground; at the ex» tremity of one of them stands the ancient castle, now the subject of many superstitious legends. It is firmly believed by the neighbouring peasantry, that the last Baron of Franchémont deposited, in one of the vaults of the castle, a ponderous chest, containing an immense treasure in gold and silver, which, by some magic spell, was intrusted to the care of the devil, who is constantly found sitting on the chest in the shape of a huntsman. Any one adventurous enough to touch the chest is instantly seized with the palsy. Upon one occasion, a priest of noted piety was brought to the vault: he used all the arts of exorcism to persuade his infernal majesty to vacate his seat, but in vain ; the huntsman remained immovable. At last, moved by the earnestness of the priest, he told him, that he would agree to resign the chest, if the exorciser would sign his name with blood. But the priest understood his meaning, and refused, as by that act he would have delivered over his soul to

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

'sponding to his courage.


Note 9. Stanza xi. A bishop by the altar stood.

The well-known Ga'wain Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, son of Archibald Bell-the~Cat, Earl of Angus. lie was author of a Scottish metrical version of the 1Eneid, and of many other poetical pieces of great merit. He had not at this period attained the mitre.

Note 10. Stanza xi.

——tho hugs and sweeping brand

Which wont, of yarn. in battle-frly.

His foeman's limb: to shred away.

As wood-knife lops the sapling |pruy

Angus had strength and personal activity correSpens of Kilspindie, a favourite of James IV, having spoken of him lightly, the Earl met him while hawking, and, compelling him to single combat, at one blow cut asunder his thigh bone, and killed him on the spot. But ere he could obtain James's pardon for this slaughter, Angus was obliged to yield his castle of Hermitage, in exchange for that of Bothwell, which was some diminution to the family greatness. The sword with which he struck so remarkable a blow was presented by his descendant, James, Earl of Morton, afterwards Regent of Scotland, to Lord Lindesay of the Byres, when he defie Bothwell to single combat on Carberry-hill.— e Introduction to the Illinstrelsy of the Scottish Border, p. ix.


Note I i. Stanza xiv.

And hopes! thou hence unscathed to go? No. by St Bride of Bothwell, no! Up draw-bridge. groonis.—whut, wurder, ho! - Let the portcullis fall. This ebullition of violence in the potent Earl of

Angus is not without its example in the real history

.of the house of Douglas, whose chieftains possessed

the ferocity, with the heroic virtues, of asavage state. The most curious instance occurred in the case of Maclellan, tutor of Bomby, who having refused to acknowledge the pre-eminence claimed by Douglas over the gentlemen and barons of Galloway, was seized and imprisoned by the earl in his castle of the Thrieve, on the borders of Kirkcudbright-shire. Sir Patrick Gray, commander of King James the Second's guard, was uncle to the Tutor of Bomby, and obtained from the king a a sweet letter of supplication,n praying the earl to deliver his prisoner into Gray's hand. When Sir Patrick arrived at the castle, he was received with all the honour due to a favourite servant of the king's household; but while he was at dinner, the earl, who suspected his errand, caused his prisoner to be led forth and beheaded. After dinner, Sir Patrick presented the king's letter to the earl, who received it with great affectation of reverence; u and took him by the hand, and led him forth to the green, where the gentleman was lying dead, and showed him the manner, and said, Sir Patrick, you are come a little too late; yonder is your sister’s son lying, but he wants the head: take his body and do with it what you will. Sir Patrick answered again with a sore heart, and said, My lord, if vc have taken from him his head, dispone upon the ody as ye please: and with that called for his horse, and leaped thereon; and when he was on horseback, he said to the earl on this manner, My lord, if I live, you shall be rewarded for your labours, that you have used at this time, according to your demerits.

[ocr errors]

1. it At this saying the Earl was highly offended, and Beneath a tall rock, nearthe bridge, is aplemifnl foun

cried for horse. Sir Patrick, seeing the Earl's fury, spurred his horse, but he was chased near Edinburgh crc .they left him; and had it not been his led, horse was so tried and good, he had been taken.»—l'rrscorTut's History, p. 39.

Note 12. Stanza xv.

A letter forged‘. St Jude to speed!
Did ever knight I0 foul a deed‘?

Lest the reader should partake of the earl's astonishment, and consider the crime as inconsistent with the manners of the period, I have to remind him of the numerous forgeries (partly executed by a female assistant) devised by Robert of Artois, to forward his suit against the Countess Matilda; which, being detected, occasioned his flight into England, and proved the remote cause of Edward the Third’s memorable wars in France. John llarding, also, was expressly hired by Edward IV, to forge such documents as might appear to establish the claim of fealty asserted over Scotland by the English monarchs.

Note 13. Stanza xviii.

Where Lennel's convent closed. their march.

This was a Cistertian house of religion, now almost entirely demolished. Lennel House is now the residence of my venerable friend Patrick Brydone, Esquire, so well known ‘in the literary world. It is situated near Coldstream, almost opposite to Cornbill, and consequently very near to Flodden Field.

Note :4. Stanza xix.
The Tilt by Twisel Bridge.

On the evening previous to the memorable battle of Flodden, Surrey’s head-quarters were at Barmoor-wood, and King James held an inaccessible position on the ridge ofFlodden-hill, oneof the last and lowest eminenccs detached from the ridge of Cheviot. The Till, a deep and slow river, winded between the armies. On the morning of the 9th September, 1513, Surrey marched in a north-westerly direction, and crossed the Till, with his van and artillery, at Twiscl bridge, nigh where that river joins the Tweed, his rear-guard column passing about a mile higher, by a ford. This movement had the double effect of placing his army between ‘King James and his supplies from Scotland, and of striking the Scottish monarch with surprise, as he seems to have relied on the depth of the river in his front. But as the passage, both over the bridge and through the ford, was difficult and slow, it seems possible that the English _might have been attacked to great. advantage while struggling with these natural obstacles. I know not_if we are to impute .]ames's forbearance to want of military skill, or to the romantic declaration which Pitscottie puts in his mouth, K that he was determined to have his enemies before him on a plain field,» and therefore would suffer no interruption to be given, even by artillery, to their passing the river.

The ancient bridge of Twisel, by which the English crossed the Till, is still standing beneath Twisel Castle, a splendid pile of Gothic architecture, as now rebuilt by Sir Francis Blake, Bart. whose extensive plantations have so much improved the country around. The glen is romantic and delightful, with steep banks on each

/side, covered with copsc, particularly with hawthorn.

taiu, called St Helen's Well.

' Note 15. Stanza xxiii.

Hence might they see the full array
Of either host, for deadly fray.

The reader cannot here expect 2| full account of the battle of Flodden; but, so far as is necessary to understand the romance, I beg to remind him, that when the English army, by their skilful counter-march, were fairly placed between King James and his own' country, the Scottish monarch resolved to fight; and, setting fire to his tents,>descendcd from the ridge of Flodden to secure the neighbouring eminence of Uranksome, on which‘ tlpt village is built. Thus the two armies met, almost without seeing each other, when, according to the old poem of \< Flodden Field,»

The English line stretch'd east and west,
And southward were their faces not;

The Scottish northward proudly prest,
And manfnlly their foot they met.

The English army advanced in four divisions. On the right, which first engaged,were the sons of Earl Surrey, namely, Thomas Howard, the admiral of England, and Sir Edmund, the knight marshal of the army. Their divisions were separated from each other; but, at the request of SirEdmund, hisbrother's battalion was drawn very near to his own. The centre was commanded by Surrey in person; the left wing by Sir Edward Stanley. with the men of Lancashire, and of the palatinate of Chester. Lord Dacre, with a large body of horse, formed a reserve. When the smoke, which the wind had driven between the armies, was somewhat dispersed, they perceived the Scots, who had moved down the hill, in a similar order of battle, and in deep silence.l The Earls of Huntley and of Home commanded their left wing, and charged Sir Edmund Howard with such success, as entirely to defeat his part of the English right wing. Sir Edmund Howard's banner wasbeaten down, and he himself escaped with difficulty to his brother's division. The admiral, however, stood firm; and Dacre, advancing to his support with the reserve of cavalry, probably between the intervals of the divisions commanded by the brothers Howard, appears to have kept the victors in effectual check. liome's men, chiefly Borderers, began to pillage the baggage of both armies; and their leader is branded, by the Scottish historians, with negligence or treachery. On the other hand, Huntley, on whom they bestow many encomiums, is said, by the English historians, to have left the field after the first charge. Meanwhile the admiral, whose flank these chiefs ought to have attacked, availed himself of their inactivity, and pushed forward against another large division of the Scottish army in his front, headed by the Earls of Crawford and Montrose, both of whom were slain, and their forces routed. On} the left, the success of the English was yet more decisi e; for the Scottish right wing, consisting of undisciplined‘Highlanders, commanded by Lennox and Argyle, was unable to sustain the charge of Sir Edward Stanley, and especially the severe execution of the Lancashirc archers. The King and Surrey, who

l c Lesquclr Eeostois descendirent la mzmlagne en bun or-ire, on In mrmiérz que mnrc/ten! Ins Allemzma, ran: pm-ler, ni fnim aucim bruiz. 1. Gazette of the Battle, Pmxznron's lliswry, Appemltz, vol. II, p. 456.


this tale was revived in my remembrance, by an unautheuticated story of a skeleton, wrapped in a bull's hide, and surrounded with an iron chain, said to have been found in the well of lome Castle; for which, on inquiry, I could never fin any better authority than the sexton of the parish having said, that the well were cleaned out, he would not be surprised at such a discovery. Home was the chamberlain of the king, and his prime favourite; he had much to lose (in fact did lose all) in consequence of James's death, and nothing earthly to gain by that event: but the retreat, or inactivity, of the left wing, which he commanded, after defeating Sir Edmund Howard, and even the circumstance of his returning unhurt, and loaded with spoil, from so fatal a conflict, rendered the propagation of any cahimny against him easyiand acceptable. Other reports gave a still more romantic turn to the king's fate, and averred, that James, Weary of greatness after the carnage among his nobles, had gone on a pilgrimage, to merit absolution for the death of his father, and the breach of his oath of amity to Henry. In particular, it was objected to the English, that they could never show the token of the iron belt; whiclt, however, he

commanded the respective centres of their armies, were meanwhile engaged in close and dubious conflict. James, surrounded by the flower of his kingdom, and impatient of the galling discharge of arrows, supported also by his reserve under Bothwell, charged with such fury, that the standard of Surrey was in danger. At that critical moment, Stanley, who had routed the left wing of the Scottish, pursued his career of victory, and arrived on the right Hank, and in the rear of James's division, which, throwing itself into a circle, disputed the battle till night game on. Surrey then drew back his forces; for the Scottish centre not having been broken, and their lcft wing being victorious, be yet doubted the event of the field. The Scottish army, however, felt their loss, and abandoned the fifl of battle in disorder before dawn. They lost, perhaps, from eight to ten thousand men, but that included the very prime of their nobility, gentry, and even clergy. Scarce a family of eminence but has an ancestor killed at Flodden; and there is no province in Scotland, even at this day, where the battle is mentioned without a sensation of terror and sorrow. The English lost also a

great number of men, perhaps within one-third of the vanquished, but they were of inferior note.-See the only distinct detail of the field of Flodden in PINK!!!-rott's Ilistory, Book XI; all former accounts being full of blunder and inconsistency.

The spot, fro which Clara views the battle, must be supposed tojiave been on a hillock commanding the rear of the nglish right wing, which was defeated, and in which conflict hlarmion is supposed to have fallen.

Note 16. Stanza xxiv.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

There can be no doubt that King James fell in the battle of Floddcn. lie was killed, says the curious French Gazette, within a lnnce's length of the Earl of Surrey; and the same account adds, that none of his division were made prisoners, though many were killed; a circumstance that testifics the desperation of their resistance. The Scottish historians record many of the idle reports which passed among the vulgar of their day. Home was accused, by the popular voice, not only of failing to support the king, but even of having carried him out of the field and murdered him. And


was likely enough to have laid aside on the day of battle, as encumbering his personal exertions. They produce a better evidence, the mon-arch's sword and dagger, which are still preserved in the Heralds’ College in London. Stowc has recorded a degrading story of the disfiacc with which the remains of the unfortunate monarch were treated in his time.—An unhewn column marks the spot where James fell, still called the King's


Note t8. Stanza xxxvi.
—--—f'antttic Brook
The fair cathedral ttorm‘d and took.

This storm of Lichfield cathedral, which had been garrisoned on the part of the king, took place in the great civil war. Lord Brook, who, with Sir John Gill, commanded the assailants, was shot with a musketball through the visor of his helmet. The royalists remarked, that he was killed by a shot fired from St Chad's Cathedral, and upon St Chad's day, and received his death-wound in the very eye with which, he had said, he hoped to see the ruin of all the cathedrals in EngL\nd. The magnificent church in question suffered

cruelly upon this, and other occasions; the principal _

spire being ruined by the fire of the besiegcrs.

Upon revising the Poem, it seems proper to mention the following particulars: The lines in page 75,

Whom doom discarding neighbours sought, Content with equity unbonght;

have been unconsciously borrowed from a passage in Dryden's beautiful epistle to John Driden of Chesterton. The ballad of Lochinvar, p. 92, is in a very slight degree founded on a ballad called tt Katharine Janfarie,» which may be found in the it Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.»

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]

With one brave bound the copse he clear‘d, And, stretching forward free and far, Sought the wild heaths of Uam-Var.


Yell'd on the view the opening pack,
Rock, glen, and cavern, paid them back;
To many a mingled sound at once

The awaken'd mountain gave response. '
An hundred dogs hay'd deep and strong,
Clatter'd an hundred steeds along,
Their peal the merry horns rung out,
An hundred voices join'd the shout;
With hark and whoop and wild holloo,
No rest Benvoirlich‘s echoes knew.

Far from the tumult fled the roe,

Close in her covert cower'd the doe.

The falcon, from her cairn on high,
Cast on the rout a wondering eye,

Till far beyond her piercing ken

The hurricane had swept the glen.
Faint and more faint, its failing din
Return'd from cavern, cliff, and linn,
And silence settled, wide and still,

On the lone wood and mighty hill.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


Alone, but with unbated zeal,

That horseman plied the scourge and steel;
Forjaded now, and spent with toil,
Emboss'd with foam, and dark with soil,
While every gasp with sohs he drew,

The labouring stag strain'd full in view.
Two dogs of black Saint llubert's breed,
Unmatch'd for courage, breath, and speed, (2)
Fast on his flying traces came,

And all but won that desperate game;

For scarce a spear's length from his haunch, Vindictive toil'd the blood-hounds staunch; Nor nearer might the dogs attain,

Nor farther might the quarry strain.

Thus up the margin of the lake,

Between the precipice and brake,

O'er stock and rock their race they take.

VIII. The hunter mark'd that mountain high,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][graphic]

The lone lake's western boundary,

And deem'd the stag must turn to bay,
Where that huge rampart barr'd the way;
Already glorying in the prize,

Measured his antlers with his eyes;

For the death-wound, and death-halloo, Muster’d his breath, his whinyard drew;—(3) But thundering as he came prepared,

With ready arm and weapon bared,

The wily quarry shunn’d the shock,

And tum‘d him from the opposing rock;
Then, dashing down a darksome glen,
Soon lost to hound and hunter's ken,

In the deep Trosach's wildest nook I

His solitary refuge took.

There while, close conch'd, the thicltet shed
Cold dews and wild flowers on his head,

He heard the baffled dogs in vain

have through the hollow pass amain, Chidiug the rocks that yell'd again.


Close on the hounds the hunter came,
To cheer them on the vauish‘d game;
But, stumbling in the rugged dell,

The gallant horse exhausted fell.

The impatient rider strove in vain

To rouse him with the spur and rein,
For the good steed, his labours o'er,
Stretch’d his stiff limbs to rise no more.
Then touch‘d with pity and remorse,
He sorrow'd o'er the expiring horse :

u I little thought, when first thy rein

I slack'd upon the banks of Seine,

That Highland eagle e'er should feed
On thy fleet limbs, my matchless steed;
Woe worth the chase, woe worth the day,
That costs thy life, my gallant gray!»-—


Then through the dell his horn resounds,
From vain pursuit to call the hounds.
Bach limp'd, with slow and crippled pace,
The sullty leaders of the chase;

Close to their master's side they press’d,
With drooping tail and humbled crest;
But still the dingle’s hollow throat
Prolong’d the swelling bugle-note.

The owlets started from their dream,

The eagles answer’d with their scream,
Round and around the sounds were cast,
Till echo seem'd an answering blast;
And on the hunter hied his way,

To join some comrades of the day;

Yet often paused, so strange the road,

So wond'rous were the scenes it show'd.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« 前へ次へ »