« 前へ次へ »
spreads over the adjoining hill; on the fourth, by mea- were the lady on whose account she had been sent for, dows which are watered by the river Kennet. Close on and a man of a haughty and ferocious aspect. The one side of the house is a thick grove of lofty trees, lady was delivered of a fine boy. Immediately the along the verge of which runs one of the principal ave man commanded the midwife to give him the child, nues to it through the park. It is an irregular building and catching it from her, he hurried across the room, of great antiquity, and was probably erected about the and threw it on the back of the fire, that was blazing time of the termination of feudal warfare, when defence in the chimney. The child, however, was strong, and came no longer to be an object in a country mansion. by its struggles rolled itself off upon the hearth, when Many circumstances, however, in the interior of the the ruffian again seized it with fury, and, in spite of house, seem appropriate to feudal times: The hall is the intercession of the midwife, and the more piteous very spacious, floored with stones, and lighted by large entreaties of the mother, thrust it under the grate, and, transom windows, that are clothed with casements. Its raking the live coals upon it, soon put an end to its walls are hung with old military accoutrements, that life. The midwife, after spending some time in affordhave long been left a prey to rust. At one end of the ing all the relief in her power to the wretched mother, hall is a range of coats of mail and helmets, and there was told that she must begone. Her former conductor is on every side abundance of old-fashioned pistols and appeared, who again bound her eyes, and conveyed her guns, many of them with matchlocks. Immediately behind him to her own home: he then paid her handbelow the cornice hangs a row of leathern jerkins, made somely, and departed. The midwife was strongly agiin the form of a shirt, supposed to have been worn as tated by the horrors of the preceding night; and she armour by the vassals. A large pak table, reaching nearly immediately made a deposition of the fact before the from one end of the room to the other, might have magistrate. Two circumstances afforded hopes of defeasted the whole neighbourhood, and an appendage to tecting the house in which the crime had been comone end of it made it answer at other times for the old mitted ; one was, that the midwife, as she sate by the game of shuffle-board. The rest of the furniture is in bedside, had, with a view to discover the place, cut out a suitable style, particularly an arm-chair of cumbrous a piece of the bed-curtain, and sewn it in again; the workmanship, constructed of wood, curiously turned, other was, that as she had descended the staircase, she with a high back and triangular seat, said to have been had counted the steps. Some suspicions fell upon one used by Judge Popham in the reign of Elizabeth. The Darrell, at that time the proprietor of Littlecot-house, entrance into the hall is at one end by a low door, com- and the domain around it. The house was examined, municating with a passage that leads from the outer and identified by the midwife, and Darrell was tried at door in the front of the house to a quadrangle within; Salisbury for the murder. By corrupting his judge, he at the other, it opens upon a gloomy staircase, by which escaped the sentence of the law, but broke his neck by you ascend to the first floor, and, passing the doors of a fall from his horse in hunting, in a few months after. some bed-chambers, enter a narrow gallery which ex- The place where this happened is still known by the tends along the back front of the house from one end name of Darrell's Stile,-a spot to be dreaded by the to the other of it, and looks upon an old garden. This peasant whom the shades of evening have overtaken gallery is hung with portraits, chiefly in the Spanish on his way. dresses of the sixteenth century. In one of the bed
« Littlecot-house is two miles from Hungerford, in chambers, which you pass in going towards the gallery, Berkshire, through which the Bath road passes. The is a bedstead with blue furniture, which time has now
fact occurred in the reign of Elizabeth. All the immade dingy and threadbare, and in the bottom of one portant circumstances I have given exactly as they are of the bed-curtains you are shown a place where a told in the country ; some trifles only are added, either small piece has been cut out and sewn in again,-a cir- to render the whole connected, or to increase the imcumstance which serves to identify the scene of the fol- pression.» lowing story :
With this tale of terror the author has combined « It was on a dark rainy night in the month of No-some circumstances of a similar legend, which was vember, that an old midwife sate musing by her cottage current at Edinburgh, during his childhood. fire-side, when on a sudden she was startled by a loud About the beginning of the cighteenth century, when knocking at the door. On opening it she found a horse- the large castles of the Scottish nobles, and even the seman, who told her that her assistance was required im- cluded hotels, like those of the French noblesse, which mediately by a person of rank, and that she should be they possessed in Edinburgh, were sometimes the scenes handsomely rewarded, but that there were reasons for of strange and mysterious transactions, a divine of sinkeeping the affair a strict secret, and, therefore, she gular sanctity was called up at midnight, to pray with must submit to be blind-folded, and to be conducted in a person at the point of death. This was no unusual that condition to the bed-chamber of the lady. With summons; but what foilowed was alarming. He was some hesitation the midwife consented ; the horseman put into a sedan-chair, and, after he had been transbound her eyes, and placed her on a pillion behind him. ported to a remote part of the town, the bearers inAfter proceeding in silence for many miles, through sisted upon his being blindfolded. The request was rough and dirty lanes, they stopped, and the midwife enforced by a cocked pistol, and submitted to ; but in was led into a house, which from the length of her the course of the discussion he conjectured, from the walk through the apartments, as well as the sounds phrases employed by the chairmen, and from some part about her, she discovered to be the seat of wealth and of their dress, not completely concealed by their cloaks, power. When the bandage was removed from her that they were greatly above the menial station they eyes, she found herself in a bed-chamber, in which had assumed. After many turns and windings, the
chair was carried up stairs into a lodging, where his eyes "I think there is a chapel on one side of it, but am not quite sure, were uncovered, and he was introduced into a bed
where he found a lady, newly delivered of an in- Howell in his own house, after the manner be had fant. He was commanded by his attendants to say seene in the French warres, and consumed with fire such prayers by her bed-side as were fitting for a per- his barnes and his out houses. Whilst he was thus asson not expected to survive a mortal disorder. The ven- saulting the hall, which Howell ap Rys and many other tured to remonstrate, and observe that her safe delivery people kept, being a very strong house, he was shot warranted better hopes. But he was sternly com- out of a crevice of the house, through the sight of his manded to obey the orders first given, and with diffi- beaver into the head, and slayne out-right, being otherculty recollected himself sufficiently to acquit himself wise armed at all points. Notwithstanding his death, of the task imposed on him. He was then again hur- the assault of the house was continued with great veheried into the chair; but, as they conducted him down mence, the doores fired with great burthens of straw ; stairs, he heard the report of a pistol. He was safely besides this, the smoake of the out-houses and barnes conducted home; a purse of gold was forced upon him; not farre distant annoyed greatly the defendants, for but he was warned, at the same time, that the least al- that most of them lay under boordes and benches upon lusion to this dark transaction would cost him his life. the floore, in the hall, the better to avoyd the smoake. He betook himself to rest, and, after long and broken During this scene of confusion onely the old man, musing, fell into a deep sleep. From this he was Howell ap Rys, never stooped, but stood valiantly in awakened by his servant, with the dismal news, that a the middest of the floore, armed with a gleve in his fire of uncommon fury had broken out in the house of band, and called into them, and bid them arise like
*, near the head of the Canongate, and that it was men, for shame, for he had knowne there as greate a totally consumed; with the shocking addition, that the smoke in that hall
Christmas even.' In the end, daughter of the proprietor, a young lady eminent for seeing the house could no longer defend them, being beauty and accomplishments, had perished in the flames. overlayed with a multitude, upon parley betweene The clergyman had his suspicions, but to have made them, Howell ap Rys was content to yeald himself prithem public would have availed nothing. He was ti- soner to Morris ap
ap Meredith, John ap Meredithi's mid; the family was of the first distinction; above eldest sonne, soe as he would swear unto him to bring all, the deed was done, and could not be amended. him safe to Carnarvon Castle, to abide the triall of the Time wore away, however, and with it his terrors. He law for tbe death of Graff ap John ap Gronw, who was became unhappy at being the solitary depositary of this cosen-german removed to the said Howell ap Rys, and fearful mystery, and mentioned it to some of his bre- of the very same house he was of. Which Morris thren, through whom the anecdote acquired a sort of ap John ap Meredith undertaking, did put a guard publicity. The divine, however, had been long dead, and about the said Howell of his trustiest friends and serthe story in some degree forgotten, wben a fire broke
is, who kept and defended him from the rage of his out again on the very same spot where the house of ****
kindred, and especially of Owen ap John Meredith, had formerly stood, and which was now occupied by his brother, who was very eager against liim. They buildings of an inferior description. When the flames passed by leisure thence like a campe to Carnarvon; were at their height, the tumult, which usually attends the whole countrie being assembled, Howell his friends such a scene, was suddenly suspended by an unex- posted a horseback from one place or other by the pected apparition. A beautiful female, in a night- way, who brought word that he was come thither safe, dress, extremely rich, but at least half a century old, for they were in great fear lest he should be murthered, appeared in the very midst of the fire, and uttered and that Morris ap John ap Meredith could not be able these tremendous words in ber vernacular idiom : to defend him, neither durst any of Howell's friends be « Anes burned; twice burned; the third time I 'll scare there, for fear of the kindred. In the end, being deliyou all!» The belief in this story. was formerly so vered by Morris ap John ap Meredith to the constable strong, that on a fire breaking out, and seeming to ap- of Carnarvon Castle, and there kept safely in ward unproach the fatal spot, there was a good deal of anxiely til the assises, it fell out by law that the burning of testified lest the apparition should make good her de- Howell's houses, and assaulting him in his owne house, nunciation.
was a more haynous offence in Morris
Meredith and the rest, than the death of Graff John
ар. Note 11. Stanza xxxiii.
Gronw in Howell, who did it in his own defence: As thick a smoke these bearths have given
whereupon Morris ар John
Meredith, with thirty-five Such an exhortation was, in similar circumstances, copie of the indictment, which I had from the records.»
more, were indicted of felony, as appeareth by the actually given to his followers by a Welch chieftain :
Sir John Wynne's History of the Gwydir Family, Lond. « Enmity did continue betweene Howell ap Rys ap Howell Vaughan and the sonnes of John
1770, 8vo. p. 116. Meredith.
ар After the death of Evan ap Robert, Griffith ap
Gronw (cozcn-german to John ap Meredith's sonnes of Gwynfryn, who had long served in France and had charge
Note 1. Stanza xxi.
0'er flexham's altar hung my glove. dudgeon that he challenged Howell ap Rys to the field, This custom among the Redesdale and Tyncdale borwhich he refusing, assembling his cosins Jolin ap Me- derers is mentioned in the interesting life of Bernard redith's sonnes and his friends together, assaulted Gilpin, where soine account is given of these wild dis
At Hallowtide or Christmas even.
John ap Griffith ap
tricts, which it was the custom of that excellent man thentic form. The chief place of his retreat was not regularly to visit.
Lord's Island in Derwentwater, but Curwen's Island in « This custom (of duels) still prevailed on the Bor- the Lake of Windermere. ders, where Saxon barbarism held its latest possession. « This island formerly belonged to the Philipsons, a These wild Northumbrians indeed went beyond the family of note in Westmoreland. During the civil ferocity of their ancestors. They were not content wars, two of them, an elder and a younger brother, with a duel: each contending party used to muster served the king. The former, who was the proprietor what adherents he could, and commence a kind of of ii, commanded a regiment; the latter was a major. petty war. So that a private grudge would often occa « The major, whose name was Robert, was a man of sion much bloodshed.
great spirit and enterprise; and for his many feats of « It happened that a quarrel of this kind was on personal bravery had obtained, among the Oliverians foot when Mr Gilpin was at Rothbury, in those parts. of those parts, the appellation of Robin the Devil. During the two or three first days of his preaching, the « After the war had subsided, and the direful effects contending parties observed some decorum, and never of public opposition had ceased, revenge and malice appeared at church together. At length, however, they long kept alive the animosity of individuals. Colonel
One party had been early at church, and just as Briggs, a steady friend to usurpation, resided at this Mr Gilpin began his sermon the other entered. They time at Kendal, and, under the double character of a stood not long silent: inflamed at the sight of each leading magistrate (for he was a justice of peace) and other, they began to clash their weapons, for they were an active commander, held the country in awe.
This all armed with javelins and swords, and mutually ap- person, having heard that Major Philipson was at his proach. Awed, however, by the sacredness of the brother's house on the island in Windermere, resolved, place, the tumult in some degree ceased. Mr Gilpin if possible, to seize and punish a man who had made proceeded : when again the combatants began to bran- himself so particularly obnoxious. How it was condish their weapons, and draw towards each other. As ducted, my authority does not inform us—whether he a fray seemed near, Mr Gilpin stepped from the pulpit, got together the navigation of the lake, and blockaded went between them, and addressed the leaders, put an the place by sea, or whether he landed and carried on end to the quarrel for the present, but could not effect his approaches in form. Neither do we learn the an entire reconciliation. They promised him, however, strength of the garrison within, nor of the works withthat will the sermon was over they would make no more All we learn is, that Major Philipson endured a disturbance. He then went again into the pulpit, and siege of eight months with great gallantry, till his brospent the rest of the time in endeavouring to make ther, the colonel, raised a party, and relieved him. them ashamed of what they had done. llis behaviour « It was now the major's turn to make reprisals. He and discourse affected them so much, that, at his far- put himself, therefore, at the head of a little troop of ther entreaty, they promised to forbear all acts of hos- horse, and rode to Kendal. Here, being informed that tility while he continued in the country. And so much Colonel Briggs was at prayers (for it was on a Sunday respected was he among them, that whoever was in morning), he stationed his men properly in the avenues, fear of his enemy used to resort where Mr Gilpin was, and himself, armed, rode directly into the church. Ii esteeming his presence the best protection.
probably was not a regular cliurch, but some large « One Sunday morning, coming to a church in those place of meeting. It is said he intended to seize the parts before the people were assembled, he observed a colonel, and carry him off; but as this seems to have glove hanging up, and was informed by the sexton that beca totally impracticable, it is rather probable that liis it was meant as a challenge to any one who should intention was to kill him on the spot, and in the midst take it down. Mr Gilpin ordered the sexton to reach it of the confusion to escape. Whatever his intention him; but upon his utterly refusing to touch it, he took was, it was frustrated, for Briggs happened to be elseit down himself, and put it in his breast. When the where. people were assembled, he went into the pulpit, and, « The congregation, as might be expected, was before he concluded his sermon, took occasion to re thrown into great confusion on seeing an armed man buke them severely for these inhuman challenges. I on horseback make his appearance among them; and hear,' saith he, that one among you hath hanged up the major, taking advantage of their astonislıment, a glove, even in this sacred place, threatening to fight turned his horse round, and rode quietly out. But any one who taketh it down : see, I have taken it down;' having given an alarm, he was presently assaulted as he and, pulling out the glove, he held it up to the congre- left the assembly, and being seized, his girths were cut,, gation, and then showed them how unsuitable such sa- and he was unhorsed. vage practices were to the profession of christianity, « At this instant his party made a furious attack on using such persuasives to mutual love as he thought the assailants, and the major killed with his own hand would most affect them.»—Life of Bernard Gilpin, the man who had seized him, clapped his saddle, unLond. 1753, 8vo, p. 177.
girthed as it was, upon the hors and vaulting into it,
rode full speed through the streets of Kendal, calling Note 2. Stanza xxxii.
liis men to follow him; and with his whole party made A borseman arm'd, at headlong speed.
a safe retreat to his asylum in the lake. The action This and what follows is taken from a real achieve- marked the man. Many knew him: and they who did ment of Major Robert Philipson, called, from his des
not, knew as well from the exploit that it could be perate and adventurous courage, Robin the Devil; nobody but Robin the Devil.» which, as being very inaccurately noticed in this note upon the first edition, shall be now given in a more au "Dr Burn's a History of Westmoreland.
The Lord of the Jsles :
IN SIX CANTOS.
Deem'st thou these sadden'd scenes have pleasure still ?
Lovest thou through Autumn's fading realms to stray,
To see the heath-flower wither'd on the hill, Tae Scene of this poem lies, at first, in the Castle of
To listen to the wood's expiring lay,
To note the red leaf shivering on the spray, Artornish, on the coast of Argyleshire; and afterwards in the Islands of Skye and Arran, and upon the coast of
To mark the last bright tints the mountain stain,
On the waste fields to trace the gleaner's way, Ayrshire. Finally, it is laid near Stirling. The
story opens in the Spring of the year 1307, when Bruce, who
And moralize on morial joy and pain ?had been driven out of Scotland by the English, and O! if such scenes thou lovest, scoru not the minstrel the Barons who adhered to that foreign interest, re
strain ! turned from the Island of Rachrin on the coast of Ireland, again to assert his claims to the Scottish crown.
No! do not scorn, although its hoarser note
Scarce with the cushat's homely song can vie, Many of the personages and incidents introduced are of historical celebrity. The authorities used are chietly Though faint its beauties as the tints remote those of the venerable Lord Hailes, as well entitled to
That gleam through mist in autumn's evening sky,
And few as leaves that tremble, sear and dry, be called the restorer of Scottish history, as Bruce the restorer of Scottish monarchy; and of Archdeacon Nor mock my toil—a lonely gleaner I,
When wild November hath his bugle wound; Barbour, a correct edition of whose Metrical History of
Through fields time-wasted, on sad inquest bound, Robert Bruce will soon, I trust, appear, under the care Where happier bards of yore have richer harvest found. of my learned friend, the Rev. Dr Jamieson." Abbotsford, 10th December, 1814.
So shalt thou list, and haply not unmoved,
To a wild tale of Albyn's warrior day;
To distant lands, by the rough west reproved,
Still live some relics of the ancient lay.
With such the seer of Skye the eve beguiles ;
In Marries known, and in lona's piles, LORD OF THE ISLES.
Where rest from mortal coil the Mighty of the Isles.
AUTUMN departs—but still his mantle's fold
Rests on the groves of noble Somerville, Beneath a shroud of russet dropp'd with gold,
Tweed and his tributaries mingle still;
Yet lingering notes of sylvan music swell,
And yet some tints of summer splendour tell
Autumn departs-from Gala's fields no more
Come rural sounds our kindred banks to chcer; Blent with the stream, and gale that wafts it o'er,
No more the distant reaper's mirth we hear. The last blithe shout hath died upon our ear,
And harvest-home hath hush'd the clanging wain, On the waste hill no forms of life
appear, Save where, sad laggard of the autumnal train, Some age-struck wanderer gleans few ears of scatteril
11. « Wake, Maid of Lorp!» 't was thus they sung, And yet more proud the descant rung,
Wake, Maid of Lorn! high right is ours,
As vainly had her maidens vied
ITI. «O wake, while dawn, with dewy shine, Wakes Nature's charms to vie with thine! She bids the mottled thrush rejoice To mate thy melody of voice; The dew that on the violet lies Mocks the dark lustre of thine, eyes; But, Edith, wake, and all we see Of sweet and fair shall yield to thee !— «She comes not yet,» gray Ferrand cried : « Brethren, let softer spell be tried, Those notes prolong'd, that soothing theme, Which best may mix with beauty's dream, And whisper, with their silvery tone, The hope she loves, yet fears to own.»—, He spoke, and on the harp-strings died The strains of flattery and of pride; More soft, more low, more tender fell The lay of love he bade them tell.
IV. «Wake, Maid of Lorn! the moments fly,
Which yet that maiden name allow; Wake, Maiden, wake! the hour is nigh,
When Love shall claim a plighted vow. By Fear, thy bosom's fluttering guest,
By Hope, that soon shall fears remove, We bid thee break the bonds of rest,
And wake thee at the call of Love! «Wake, Edith, wake! in yonder bay
Lies many a galley gaily mann'd, We hear the merry pibrochs play,
We see the streamers' silken band. What chieftain's praise these pibroclis swell,
What crest is on these banners wove, The harp, the minstrel, dare not tell
The riddle must be read by Love. »
(Strict was that bond-most kind of all
V. Retired her maiden train among, Edith of Lorn received the song, But tamed the minstrd's pride had been That had her cold demeanour seen; For not upon her cheek awoke The glow of pride when flattery spoke, Nor could their tenderest numbers bring Oge sigh responsive to the string.