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Save to patter an Ave Mary,
The Borderers were, as may be supposed, very ignorant about religious matters. Colville, in his Paranesis or admonition, states, that the reformed divines were so far from undertaking distant journeys to convert the Heathen, “as I wold wis at God that ye wold only go bot to the Hitlands and borders of our own realm, to gain our awin countreymen, who, for lack of preching and ministration of the sacraments, must, with tyme, becameitherinfidells or atheists.” But we learn, from Leslie, that, however defieient in real religion, they regularly told their beads, and never with more zeal than when going on a plundering expedition.
Note: W. Beneath their feet were the bones of the dead.-P. 30.
The cloisters were frequently used as places of sepulture. An instance occurs in Dryburgh Abbey, where the cloister has an inscription, bearing, Hicjacet frater Archibaldur.
So had he seen, in fair Castile,
Sudden the flying jennet wheel,
“By my faith,” sayd the Puke of Lancaster, (to a Portuguese squire) “ of all the feates of arines that the castellyans, and they of your countrey doth use, the castynge of their dartes best pleaseth me, and gladly I wolde se it; for, as I hear say, if they strike one aryghte, without he be well armed, the dart will pierce
him thrughe.”—“By my fayth, Sir," sayd the squye,
“ye say trouth ; for I have seen many a grete stroke
given with them, which at one time cost us derely, and
was to us great displeasure ; for, at the said skyrmishe, Sir John Laurence of Coygne was striken with a dart
in such wise, that the head perced all the plates of his
cote of mayle, and a sacke stopped with sylke, and
passed thrughe his body, so that he fell down dead.”—
Froissart, Vol. II. ch. 44.—This mode of fighting with
darts was imitated in the military game called Juego de
las canas, which the Spaniards borrowed from their
Moorish invaders. A Saracen champion is thus descrbed by Froissart: “Among the Sarazyns, there was
a yonge knight called Agadinger Dolyferne; he was
always wel mounted on a redy and a lyght horse; it seemed, when the horse ranne, that he did flye in the ayre. The knighte seemed to be a good man of armes by his dedes; he bare always of usage three fethered dartes, and rychte well he could handle them ; and, according to their custome, he was clene armed, with a long white towell aboute his heed. His apparell was blacke, and his own colour browne, and a good horseman. The Crystem men say, they thoughte he dyd such deeds of armes for the love of some yonge ladye
of his countrey. And true it was, that he loved entirely the king of Thune's daughter named the Lady Azala; she was inherytour to the realme of Thunes, after the discease of the kyng, her father. This Agadinger was some to the Duke of Olyferme. I can nat telle it they were married together after or nat ; but it was shewed me, that this knyght, for love of the sayd ladye, during the siege, did many feats of armes. The knyghtes of Fraunce wold fayne have taken hym ; but they colde never attrape nor inclose hym, his horse was so swyft, and so redy to his hand, that alwaies he escaped.”—Vol. II. ch. 71.
-Thy low and lonely urn,
The famous and desperate battle of Otterburne was fought 15th August 1388, betwixt Henry Percy, called , Hotspur, and James Earl of Douglas. Both these renowned champions were at the head of a chosen body of troops, and they were rivals in military fame; so that Froissart affirms, “Of all the battayiles and encounteryngs that I have made mencion of here before in all this hystory, great or smalle, this batayle that I treat of nowe was one of the sorest and best foughten, without cowardes or faynte hertes, for there was neyther knyghtenor squyer but that dyde his devoyre, and fought hande to hande. This batayle was lyke the batayle of Becherell, the which was valiantly fought and endured.” The issue of the eonflict is well known : Perey was made prisoner, and the Scots won the day, dearly purchased by the death of their gallant general, the Earl of Douglas, who was slain in the action. He was buried at Melrose, beneath the high altar. “His obsequye was done reverently, and on his body layde a tombe of stone, and his baner hangyng over him.”Froissart, Vol. II. p. 161.
William Douglas, called the knight of Liddesdale, flourished during the reign of David II. and was so distinguished by his valour, that he was called the Flower of Chivalry. Nevertheless, he tarnished his renown by the cruel murder of Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, originally his friend and brother in arms. The king had conferred upon Ramsay the sheriffdom of Teviotdale, to which Douglas pretended some claim. In revenge of this preference, the knight of Liddesdale came dewn upon Ramsay, while he was administerir.
justice at Hawick, seized and carried him off to his remote and inaccessible castle of Hermitage, where he threw his unfortunate prisoner, horse and man, into a dungeon, and left him to perish of hunger. It is saids the miserable captive prolonged his existence for several days by the corn which fell from a granary above the vault in which he was confined.* So weak was the royal authority. that David, although highly incensed at this atrocious murder, found himself obliged to appoint the knight of Liddesdale successor to his victim, as sheriff of Teviotdale. But he was soon after slain, while hunting in Ettricke Forest, by his own god-son and chieftain, William, Earl of Douglas, in revenge, according to some authors, of Ramsay's murder: although a popular tradition, preserved in a ballad quoted by Godscroft, and some parts of which are still preserved, ascribes the resentment of the Earl to jealousy. The place, where the knight of Liddesdale was killed, is called, from his name, William-Cross, upon the ridge of a hill called William-hope, betwixt Tweed and Yarrow. His body, according to Goldscroft, was carried to Lindean church the first night after his death, and
* There is something affecting in the manner in which the old Prior of Lochlevin turns from describing the death of the gallant Ramsay, to the general sorrow which it eacited :
To tell you there of the manere,
The ryche and pure him menyde bath,
Some years ago, a person digging for stones, about the old castle of Hermitage, broke into a vault, containing a quantity of chaff, some bones, and pieces of iron ; amongst others, the curb of an ancient bridle, which the author has since given to the Earl of Dalhousie, under the impression, that it possibly may be a relique of his brave oncer. tor. The worthy #. of the parish has mentioned this discovery, in his statistical account of castletown,
thence to Melrose, where he was interred with great pomp, and where his tomb is still shown.
It is impossible to coneeive a more beautiful specimen of the lightness and elegance of Gothic architecture, when in its purity, than the eastern window of Melrose Abbey. Sir James Hall of Dunglass, Bart. has, with greatingenuity and plausibility, traced the Gothic order through its various forms, and seemingly eccentric ornaments, to an architectural imitation of wicker work; of which, as we learn from some of the legends, the earliest Christian churches were constructed. In such an edifice, the original of the clustered pillars is traced to a set of round posts, begirt with slender rods of willow, whose loose summits were brought to meet from all quarters, and bound together artificially, so as to produce the frame-work of the roof: and the tracery of our Gothie windows is displayed in the meeting and interlacing of rods and hoops. affording an inexhaustible variety of beautiful forms of open work. This ingenious system is alluded to in the romance. Sir James Hall’s Essay on Gothic Architecture is published in The Edinburgh Philosophical Transactions.
They rate them down on a marble stone,
A large marble stone, in the chancel of Melrose, is pointed out as the monument of Alexander II. one of the greatest of our early kings; others say, it is the resting place of Waldeve, one of the early abbots, who died in the odour of sanctity,