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While thy capacious stream has equal room grain as he can cut at one sweep with :1 short scythe,
The characteristic obstinacy of Napoleon was never more fully displayed than in what we may hepermitted to hope will prove the last of his fields. He would listen
'Well hast thou stood, my country !—the brave fight to no advice, and allow of no obstacles. An eye-wit-_ I-last well maintain’d through good report and ill; ness has given the following account of his dcmeanour
In thy just cause and in thy native might, towards the end of the action :—- _ . find in Heaven's grace andjusticc constant still. it it was near seven o'clock; Bonaparte, who, till Whether the banded prowess, strength, and skill then, had remained upon the ridge of the hill whence he \. Of half the world against thee, stood array'd, could best behold what passed, contemplated, with at
The fate their leader shunn'd to share.
It has been reported that Bonaparte charged at the '5 ‘T is not alone the heart with valour fire‘-1" down indeed tio a hollow art of the hi h-road leadin The discipline so dreaded and admired, ’ ’ ’ P 5 5
. . . informed them that his preceding operations had deBest ]\1S[lfi€S the meed thy valiant sons have won. . . .
stroyed the British infantry and cavalry, and that they
had only to support the fire of the artillery, which they
were to attack with the bayonet.—This exhortation was
received with shouts of Vine l’Empereur, which were
’ heard over all our line, and led to an idea that Napo
- u I
lcon was charging in person. But the guards were led
on by Ney; nor did Bonaparte approachlnearer the
NW? 1- Stanza "- scene of action than the spot already mentioned, which
The peasant, I'll. his lahour blitha, I the rising banks on each side rendered secure from all
PH“ ‘he l‘°°l‘id ""““"‘l 'l'°""~’“'d “Yihe. 5'uch balls as did not come in a straight line. Ile wit
The reaper in Flanders carries in his left hand a stick nr-‘seed the earlier part of the l>at}_l_e from places yet
with an iron hook, with which he collects as much more remote, particularlygfrom an observatory which
Or when, with better views and freer will, stern countenance, the scene of,this horrible slaughtelfi '
some weeks before, for the purpose of surveying the country.‘ It is not meant to infer from these parlicnlars that Napoleon showed, on that memorable occasion, the least deficiency in personal courage; on the contrary, he evinced the greatest composure and presence of mind during the whole action. But it is no less true that report has erred in aseribing to him any desperate efforts of valour for recovery of the battle; and it is remarkable, that during the whole carnage, none of his suite were either killed or wounded, whereas
scarcely one of the Duke of Wellington's personal attendants escaped unhurt.
sand tinker: at work memiing pots and kettles.»
Note 7. Stanza xiii.
Or will thy chosen brook to feel The British shock of levell'd lteal 1
No persuasion or authority could prevail upon the French troops to stand the shock of the bayonet. The imperialguards, in particular, hardly stood still till the British were within thirty yards of them, although the French author, already quoted, has put into their mouths the magnanimous sentiment, u the guards never yieldthey die.» The same author has covered the plateau, or eminence of St-Jean, which formed the British position, with recloubts and entrenchments which ucver had an existence. As the narrative, which is in many respects curious, was written by an eye-witness, he was probably deceived by the appearance of a road and ditch which runs along part of the hill. It may he also mentioned, in criticising this work, that the writer states the Chateau of Hougoumont to have been carried by the French, although it was resolutely and successfully defended during the whole action. The enemy, indeed, possessed themselves of the wood by which it is surrounded, and at length set fire to the house itself; but the British (a detachment of the guards, under the command of Colonel Macdonnell, and afterwards of Colonel Home) made good the garden, and thus preserved, by their desperate resistance, the post which covered the return of the Duke of Wellington‘s right flank.
Tnouon the public seldom takes much interest in such communications (nor is there any reason why they should), the author takes the liberty of stating, that these scenes were commenced with the purpose of contributing to a miscellany projected by a much esteemed friend. But instead of being confined to a scene or two as intended, the work gradually swelled to the size of an independent publication. It is designed to illustrate military antiquities, and the manners of chivalry. The Drama (if it can be termed one) is in no particular either designed or calculated for the stage; so that in case any attempt shall be made to produce it in action
(as has happened in similar cases), the author takes
AND FAITHFUL FRIENDSHIP.
the present opportunity to intimate, that it shall be solely at the peril of those who make such an experimerit.
The subject is to be found in Scottish history; but not to overload so slight a publication with antiquarian research, or quotations from obscure chronicles, may be sufficiently illustrated by the following passage from Ptuxtzn-rou‘s History of Scotland, vol. I, p. 7|.
<1 The Governor (anno 1402) dispatched a considerable force under Murdac, his eldest son; the Earls of Angus and Moray also joined Douglas, who entered England with an army of ten thousand men, carrying terror and devastation to the walls of Newcastle.
“Henry IV was now engaged in the Welch war against Owen Glendour; but the Earl of Northumberland, and his son, the Hotspur Percy, with the Earl of
‘flight. "chief wound deprived him of an eye; Murdac, son of
March, collccted a numerous array and awaited the return of the Scots, impeded with spoil, near Milfield, in the north part of Northumherland. Douglas had reached Wooler, in his return, and, perceiving the enemy, seized a strong post between the two armies, called Homildon-hill. In this method he rivalled his predecessor at the battle of Otterburn, but not with like success. The English advanced to the assault, and Henry Percy was about to lead them up the hill, when March caught his bridle, and advised him to advance no farther, but to pour the dreadful shower of English arrows into the enemy. This advice was followed with the usual fortune; for in all ages the bow was the English weapon of victory, and though the Scots, and perhaps the French, were superior in the use of the spear, yet this weapon was useless after the distant bow had decided tlte combat. Robert the Great, sensible of this at the battle of Bannockbttrn, ordered a prepared detachment of cavalry to rush among the English archers at the commencement, totally to disperse them, and stop the deadly effusion. But Douglas now used no such precaution; and the consequence was, that his people, drawn up on the face of the hill, presented one general mark to the enemy, none of whose arrows descended iu vain. The Scots fell without fight, and unrevenged, till a spirited knight, Swinton, exclaimed aloud, ‘O my brave countrymen! what fascination has seized you to-day, that you stand like dear to be shot, instead of indulging your ancient courage, and meeting your enemies hand to hand? Let those who will descend with me, that we may gain victory, or life, or fall like men.‘ This being heard by Adam Gordon, between whom and Swinton there existed an ancient deadly, feud, attended with the mutual slaughter of many followers, he instantly fell on his knees before Swinton, begged his pardon, and desired to be dubbed a knight by him whom he must now regard as the wisest and the boldest of that order in Britain. The ceremony performed, Swinton and Gordon descended the hill, accompanied only by one hundred men; and a desperate valour led the whole body to death. Had a similar spirit been shown by the Scottish army, it is probable that the event of the day would have heeu different. Douglas, who was certainly deficient in the most important qualities of a general, seeing his army begin to disperse, at length attempted to descend the hill; but the English archers, retiring a little, sent a flight of arrows so sharp and strong, that no armour could withstand; and the Scottish leader himself, whose panoply was of remarkable temper, fell under five wounds, though not mortal. The English men-of-arms, knights, or squires, did not strike one blow, but remained spectators of the rout, which was now complete. Great numbers of Scots were slain, and near five hundred perished in the river Tweed upon their Among the illustrious were Douglas, whose
Albany; the Earls of Moray and Angus; and about four gentlemen of eminent rank and power. The chief slain were, Swinton, Gordon, Livingston of Calender, Ramsay of Dalhousie, Walter Sinclair, Roger Gordon, Walter Scott, and others. Such was the issue 05 1|“, unfortunate battle of Homildon.»
It may be proper to observe, that the scene of action has, in the following pages, been transferred from Homildon to Halidon Hill. For this there was an obvious
reason, for who would again venture to introduce upon the scene the celebrated Hotspnr, who commanded the English at the former battle? There are, however, several coincidences which may reconcile even the severer antiquary to the substitution of Halidon Hill for Homildon. A Scottish army was defeated ‘by the English on both occasions, and under nearly the same circumstances of address on the part of the victors, and mismanagement on that of the vanquished, for the English long-bow decided the day in both cases. In both cases, also, :1 Gordon was left on the field of battle; and at Halidon, as at Homildon, the Scots were commanded by an ill-fated representative of the great house of Douglas. He of Homildon was snrnamed Tine-man, i. e. Lose-man, from his repeated defeats and miscarriages, and with all the personal valour of his race, seems to have enjoyed so small it portion of their sagacity, as to be unable to learn military experience from reiterated calamity. I am far, however, from intimating, that the traits of imbecility and envy, attributed to the regent in the following sketch, are to be historically ascribed either to the elder Douglas of Halidon Hill, or to him called Tine-man, who seems to have enjoyed the respect of his countrymen, notwithstanding that, like the celebrated Anne de Monmorency, he was either defeated, or wounded, or made prisoner in every battle which he fought. The Regent of the sketch is a character purely imaginary.
The tradition of the Swinton family, which still survives in a lineal descent, and to which the author has the honour to be related, avers, that the Swintou who fell at Homildon, in the manner narrated in the preceding extract, had slain Gordon's father; which seems sufficient ground for adopting that circumstance into the following Dramatic Sketch, though it is rendered improbable by other authorities.
if any reader will take the trouble of looking at Froissart, Fordun, or other historians of the period, he will find, that the character of the Lord of Swinton, for strength, courage, and conduct, is by no means exaggerated.
T is cowls like mine which hide them. 'Mongst the
A G T L ‘Veil nigh two generations of our nobles: The race which holds you summit is the third. SCENE I- VIPONT. The northern side ofthe eminence qflialidon. The back T110“ mayst 011!!!" ‘hem 31-50scene represents the summit of the ascent, occupied by i PRIORthe -rear-guard of the Scottish Army. Bodies of Heaven f°!'¢f°11'-I ! armed Men appear as adv: ncing from different MY Prayer shall berth“! Heaven W!!! °!°5e m¥ W331 Points to join the ,,,,,,',, 3,,,1y_ Before they look upon the wrath to come. virour. . Enter DE vim“ and the PRIOR ofM“S°N_DIw' Retire, retire, good father!—Pray for Scotland, vxrowr. Think not on me. Here comes an ancient friend, I No farther, father—here I need no guidance— Brother in arms, with whom to dayl ’ll join me. I I have already brought your peaceful step Back to your choir, assemble all your brotherhood, l Too near the verge of battle. And weary Heaven with prayers for victory. Paton. Paton.
Fain would I see you join some baron’s banner, Heaven's blessing rest with thee,
Before I say farewell. The honour'd sword Champion of Heaven, and of thy suffering country! That fought so well in Syria should not wave [Exit Paton. Vtrour draws a little aside, and Amid the ignoble crowd. let: down the beaver of his helmet.
Each spot is noble in ,, ‘field’ Enter Swmrou, followed by RRYNALD and others, to So that a man has room to fight and fall on ‘t. whom he speak‘! as "6 enter"
But I shall find out friends. ‘T is scarce twelve years §w]NT°N,
Since I left Scotland for the wars of Palestine, "81; here, and plan; my penmm, ‘ill the Regen;
Were known to me; and I, in my degree, ,,,,yN,,_D_
N9‘ 3“ "l1kl1°W" !° !h@"'- That must be by the standard. We have had
P!"°3- That right since good St David's reign at least.
M33! ‘here have been “halides slnce that ‘line; Fain would I see the Marcher would dispute it.
The royal Bruce, with Randolph, Douglas, Grahame, swm-mu,
Then $ll0°k ill field lhe bfillllerfi Wllifih HOW K110111481‘ Peace, Iteyuald! Where the general plants the soldier,
vrrour. His valour can win worship. Thou 'rt of those,
That while I look'd on many a well-known crest blancc
And hlazon'd shield, as hitherward we came, Of some disorder'd hunting, where, pcIl—mell,
The faces of the barons who display‘d them Each trusting to the swiftness of his horse,
Were all unknown to me. Ilrave youths they seem'd; Ggllants press on to see the quarry fall.
Yet, surely fitter to adorn the tilt-yard, Yon steel-clad southrons, Reynald, are no deer;
Young like themselves, seem like themselves unprac- VIPONT (advancing).
tised'— ' There needed not, to blazon forth the Swinton, , Look at their battle-rank. His ancient burgonet, the sable Boar PRIOR. Chain'd to the gnarled 0ak,—-nor his proud step,
I cannot gaze on 't with undazzled eye, Nor giant stature, nor the ponderous mace,
50 thick the rays dart back from shield and helmet, Which only he of Scotland's realm can wield:
And sword and battle-axe, and spear and pennon. His discipline and wisdom mark the leader,
Sure 't is a gallant show! The Bruce himself As dotll his frame the champion. Hail, brave Swinton! _ Hath often conqucr'd at the head of fewer SWINTON.
And worse appointed followers. Brave Templar, thanks! Such your cross'd shoulder
VIPONT- Speaks Y0“;
Ay, but '1 was Bruce that led them. Reverend father, But the closed visor, which conceals your features,
‘T is not the falchion’s weight decides a combat; Forbids more knowledge. Umfraville, perhaps-—
It is the strong and skilful hand that wields it. VIPONT (unclosing his helmet).
lll fate, that we should lack the noble king, No; one less worthy of our sacred order.
And all his champion; now 1, Time call‘d them not, Yet, unless Syrian sunshave scorch'd my features
For when I parted hence for Palestine, Swart as my sable visor, Alan Swinton
The brows of most were free from grizzled hair. will Vl"!!¢'-"Tle sY"1°" v!P°m~
p|\[QR_ SWINTON (embracing him).
Too true, alas! But well you know, in Scotland, A5 lhe Millie l'¢'fl\P" 1-‘aw hair; are silver] umlemrmtll the hglmcl; Welcomes a practised mate, when the ripe harvest
Lies deep before him and the sun is high.
Thou ‘lt follow you old pennon, wilt thou not?
'T is tatter‘d since thou saw’st it, and the Boar-heads Look as if brought from off some Christmas board,
Where knives had notch'd them deeply.
Symon tie Vipont, thou dost see them all
That Swinton's bugle-horn can call to hattle,
Left in my halls, whose arm has strength enough
Striplings and gray-beards, every one is here,
And here all should be—Scotland needs them all;
vtroivr. A thousand followers—such, with friends and kinsmen,
Allies and vassals, thou wcrt wont to lead
A thousand followers shrunk to sixty lances
In twelve years‘ space !——And thy brave sons, Sir Alan, Alas! I fear to ask.
All slain, De Vipont. In my empty home
A puny babe lisps to a widow'd mother,
1 Where is my grandsire? wherefore do you weep?» But for that prattler, Lyulph's house is heirless.
I 'm an old oak, from which the foresters
Have hew’d four goodly boughs, and left beside me
As he springs over it.
Ay, all, De Vipont. And their attributes,
John with the Long Spear—Archibald with the Axe-
My Fair-haired William-—-do but now survive
In measures which the gray-hair'd minstrels sing,
These wars with England, they have rooted out
The flowers of Christendom. Knights, who might win The sepulchre of Christ from the rude heathen,
Fall in unholy warfare!
Unholy warfare? ay, well hast thou named it;
But not with England—would her cloth—yard shafts
Of their dear country—but in private feud
With the proud Gordon, fell my Long-spear'd John,
Ay, and my Fair-hair'd Will—-the Gordon's wra'th
Templar, what think‘st thou met--See yonder rock,
Compact of adamant, though waters flow from it?
In guerdon that he thinn'd my father's lineage,
And then I wept my sons; and, as the Gordon
Lay at my feet, there was a tear for him,
Which mingled with the rest.—We had been friends, Had shared the banquet and the chase together, Fought side by side—and our first cause of strife, Woe to the pride of both, was but a light one.
vtrour. You are at feud, then, with the mighty Gordon 1 SWINTON.
At deadly fend. Here in this Border-land,
Where the sire’s quarrels descend upon the son,
As due a part of his inheritance
As the strong castle and the ancient blazon,
Where private vengeance holds the scales of justice,
As Jews or Lomhards balance silver pence,
Not in this land, 'twixt Solway and Saint Ablfs,
The Swinton and the Gordon.
You rate him far too low. Since you sought Palestine,
In the far-distant north. A thousand horse
His southern friends and vassals always numher'd.
For lack of followers--seek yonder standard
The bounding Stag, with a brave host around it:
As well as mine, thou wert—go,joiu his pennon,
When you were friends, Iwas the friend of both,
But my poor person, though but slight the aid,
Which hath the smallest following.
Spoke like the generous knight, who gave up all,
To fight a Christian soldier—yet in earnest
I pray, De Vipont, you wouldjoin the Gordon
In this high battle. 'T is a noble youth,
So fame doth vouch him,~——am0rous, quick,andvaliant;
A friend like thee beside him in the fight
Were worth a hundred spears, to rein his valour
With eye undazzled.