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»agrd a feudal »ar with the Earl of Chester, Marmton's horse fell, as be charged in the van of his troop, agaUst a body of the Earl's followers: the rider's thigh being broken by the fall, his head wa* cut off by a common f.'*oi-*.oh1ier, ere he could receive any succour. The I whole story is lold by William of Newbury.
Note 1. Introduction.
——— ihe imarct! Pane
The lol of the heathen Danes (a word still applied 10 Christmas in Scotland)was solemnized with great Fosiivitv. The humour of the Danes at table displayed itself in pelting each other with bones ; and Torfceus tells a long ind curious story, in the history of llrolfe Kraka, of c>w llotius, an inmate of the court of Denmark, who tu so grnerallv assailed with these missiles, that he roQ^tractrd, out of the bones with which he was overwhelmed, a very respectable entreurhment, against those »ho continued the raillcrv. The dances of the northern warriors round the great fires of pine-trees are coninv-foorated by Olaus Maguus, who says, they danced with wich fury, holding each other by the hands, that, if the grasp of any failed, he was pitched into the fire with the velocity of a sling. The sufferer, on such r-ecasions, was instantly plucked out, and obliged to *piaff off a certain measure of ale, as a pcualty for • tpoiliog the king's hrc.»
Note 2. Introduction.
On Itjrisliii.n c»e the miu wa« tunfi.
In Roman Catholic countries, mass is never said at aagbt, excepting on Christmas eve. Each of the frolics, with which that holiday used to be celebrated, might idmit of a long and curious note; but 1 shall content mv*clf with tlie following description of Christmas, and bi* attributes, as personified in one of Uen Jousou's Masques for the Court.
«£*fer Ciiistmas, witii two or titree of the Guard. lie is alii red in round hose, long stockings, a close doublet, a high-crowned hat, with a hroach, a loug thin heard, a truncheon, little ruffs, white shoes, his scarfs tad garters tied across, and his drum beaten before turn.—
« The names of his children, with their attires.
mit in-flute, in a velvet cap,withasprig, a short cloak, great yellow ruff, like a reveller; his torch-bearer bearing a rope, a cheese, and a basket.
m Caroll, a long tawny coat, with a red cap, and a male at his girdle; bis torch-bearer carrying a song-book open.
« Jtinced-pie, like a fine cook's wife, drcst neat, her nun carrying a pie, dish, and spoons.
« Cam bolt, like a tumbler, with a hoop and bells; his torch-bearer armed with cole-staff, and blinding doth.
« Pott and Pair, with a pair-royal of aces in bis hat, his garment all done over with pairs and purs; hU squire carrying a box, cards, and counters.
« Sew-year's-yiftt in a blue coat, serving-man like, with an orange, and a sprig of rosemary gilt on his
head, his hat full of broaches, with a collar of ginger bread; bis torch-bearer carrying a march-pain, with a hottle of wine on either arm.
« Mumming, in a masquing pied suit, with a visor; bis torch-bearer carrying the box, and ringing it.
« Wassal, like a neat sempster and songster; her page bearing a brown bowl, drcst with ribbands, and rosemary, before her.
v Offering, in a short gown, with a porter's staff in his hand; a wyth borne before him, and a bason, by his torch-bearer.
« Baby Cocke, drcst like a boy, in a fine long coat, biggin, bih, muckender, and a little dagger; bis usher bearing a great cake, with a bean and a pease.»
Note 3. Introduction.
Who litti may In their mumming see
It seems certain, that the Mummers of England, who (in Northumberland at least) used to go about in disguise to the neighbouring houses, hcariug the then useless ploughshare; and the Guisards of Scotland, not yet in total disuse, present, in some indistinct degree, a shadow of the old mysteries, which were the origin of the English drama. In Scotland (me ipso teste), we were wont, during my boyhood, to take the characters of the apostles, at least of Peter, Paul, and Judas Iscariot; the first had the keys, the second carried a sword, and the last the bag, in which the dole of our neighhours' plum-cake was deposited. One played a Champion, and recited some traditional rhymes; another Mas
Alexander, kini* of Maoednn,
WlioconijuiT'd all ihe world but Scotland alone;
These, and many such verses, were repeated, but by rote, and unconnectedly. There was also occasionally, I believe, a Saint Ccorge. In all, there was a confused resemblance of the ancient mysteries, in which the characters of Scripture, the Nine Worthies, and other popular personages, were usually exhibited. It were much to he wished, that the Chester Mysteries were published from the MS. in the Museum, with the annotations which a diligent investigator of popular antiquities might still supply. The late acute and valuable antiquary, Vr Hitson, showed me several memoranda towards such a ta>k, which are probably now dispersed or lost. See, however, his Rent/irks on Shakspcnre, i;83, p. 38.—Since the quarto edition of Makmion appeared, this subject has received much.elucidation from the learned and extensive labours of Mr Douce.
Note 4. Introduction.
Where my great grandiin? came of old.
Mr Scott of Harden, my kind and affectionate friend, and distant relation, has the original of a poetical invitation, addressed from his grandfather to my relative, from which a few lines in the text are imitated. They are dated, as the epistle in the text, from Mertouu-house, the seat of the Harden family.
■ Villi amber b.-nnl, and flaxen hair,
AoJ reverend B|>o*io1k' »ir.
Free of anxiety and care,
Come hilhcr, (.hriiinuM-day, atd dine ,
Wo 'II mix sobriety with wine.
The venerable old gentleman, to -whom the lines are nddrcssed, was the younger brother of William Scott of Raeburu. Being the cadet of a cadet of the Harden family, he had very little to lose ; yet he contrived to lose the small property he had, by engaging in the civil wars aod intrigues of the house of Stuart. His veneration for the exiled family was so great, that he swore he would not shave his beard till they were restored: a mark of attachment, which, 1 suppose, had been common duriug Cromwell's usurpation; for, in Cowley's « Cutter of Coleman Street,» one drunken cavalier upbraids another, that, when he was not able to afford to pay a barber, he affected to « wear a beard for the king.n I sincerely hope this was not absolutely the original reason of my ancestor's beard ; which, as appears from a portrait in the possession of Sir Henry Hay Macdougal, Bart., and another painted for the famous l)r Pitcairn,1 was a beard of a most dignified and venerable appearaoce.
Note 5. Introduction.
—the Spirit'* Blasted Tree.
I am permitted to illustrate this passage, by inserting « Ceubren yr Ellyll, or the Spirit's Blasted Tree," a legendary tale, by the Reverend George Warrington:
■■ The event on which this tale is founded, is preserved by tradition in the family of the Vaughans of Hcnwyrt: uor is it entirely lost, even among the common people, who still point out this oak to the passenger. The enmity between the two Welch chieftains, Hqwel Sele, and Owen Glyndwr, was extreme, and marked by vile treachery in the one, and ferocious cruelty iu the other.3 The story is somewhat changed and softened, as more favourable to the characters of the two chiefs, and as better answering the purpose of poetry, by admitting the passion of pity, and a greater degree of sentiment in the description. Some trace of Howel Seles mansion was to be seen a few years ago, and may perhaps be still visible, in the park of Nannau, now belonging lo Sir Robert Vaughan, Barouet, in the wild and romantic tracts of Merionethshire. The abbey mentioned passes under two names, Vener and Cymmer. The former is retained, as more generally used.)*
THE SPIRITS BLASTED TREE.
Ceulrem yr EUytl.
A chief esteem d both brave and kind,
Canio murmuring on the hollow wind.
'Tho old gentleman wit an Intimate of this celebrated Renins. By the favour of the late Earl of Kelly, descended on the maternal side from Dr Pitcairn, nty father became possessed of the portrait la question.
1 The history of their food may be found in Pennant's Tour in Wales.
Starling, he beot an eager ear.—
How should the sounds return again 1
Ilis hounds lay wearied from the chase.
Then sndden anger flash'd his eye.
On that bold man who dared to force
Unbappy chief! would nought avail.
Thy lady's dark mysterious dream.
Three ravens gave tho note of death.
As through mid air they wing'd their way;
Then o'er his bead, in rapid flight.
They croak,—tbey scent their destined prey.
Ill-omen'd bird! as legends say.
Who hast the wond'rous power to know.
While health fills high the throbbing veins, Tho fated hour when blood most flow.
Blinded by rage, alone ho pass'd,
, Nor sought his ready vassals' aid;
But what his fate lay long unknown.
For many an anxious year delay'd.
A peasant mark'd his angry eye,
He saw him roach the lake's dark bourne,
lie saw him near a blasted oak.
Three days pass'd o'er, no tidings came ;—
With wild alarm the senants run.
Yet knew not where to point their way.
Tlii vassals ranged the mountain's height.
Bat all In vain their eager search.
Yet Fancy, In a thonsand shapes.
Bore to his home the chief once more:
Some saw him on high Mod's lop.
With wonder fraught, the tale went ronad.
Amaiement ehain'd the bearer's tongue; Each peasant felt his own sad low.
Yet fondly o'er the story bong.
Oft by the moon's pale shadowy light.
Would lean to catch the storied sounds.
Pale lights on Coder's rocks were seen.
And midnight voices beard to moan; 'T was even said the blasted oak,
Convulsive, heaved a hollow gro*":
And. to this day, the peasant still.
Iu each wild l>ranch a spectre sees.
Ten annual suns had held their course.
The lady shed the widow'd tear.
Yet still to hope her heart would cliag.
As o'er the mind illusions filaj.— Of travel fond, perhaps her lord
To distant lands had sieer'd bis w«.
T was now November's cheerless hoar,
Which drenching rains and cloudsdeu.ee; Dreary bleak Bobells tract aj-p**' ■*•
And dull and dank each valley's sp**' Loud o'er the wier the hoarse flood hll.
And dash'd the foamy spray o* »'6" '• The west wind bent the foresltop*.
And angry frown'd the evening •»»•
on Friday, when, whether as dedicated to Venus, with whom, in Cermany, this subterraneous people are held nearly connected, or for a more solemn reason, they arc more active, and possessed of greater power. Some curious parliculars concerning the popular superstitions of the Highlanders, may he fouud in Dr Craham's « Picturesque Sketches of Perthshire.*
Note 7. Introduction.
~—— the towen of Francbeinonl.
The journal of the friend to whom the Fourth Canto of the poem is inscribed, furnished me with the following account of a striking superstition.
"Passed the pretty little village of Franchemont (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 extremity of one of them stands the ancient castle, now the subject of many superstitious legends. It is [irmly believed by the neighbouring peasantry, that the last Baron of Franchemont deposited, in one of the vaults of the castle, a ponderous chest, containing an immense treasure iu gold and silver, which, by some magic spell, was iulrustcd to the care of the devil, who is constantly found sitting on the chest iu 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 the devil. Yet if any body can discover the mystic words used by the person who deposited the treasure, and prouoiinre them, the fiend must instantly decamp. I had many stories of a similar nature from a peasant, who had himself seen the devil, in the shape of a great cat.»
Note 8. Stanza iv.
The very form of tlildl fair,
« I shall only produce one instance more of the great veneration paid to Lady Hilda, which still prevails even iu these our days; and that is, the constant opiniou that she rendered, and still renders, herself visible, on some occasions iu the ahliey of Streanshalh, or Whitby, where she so long resided. At a particular lime of the year (viz. in the summer months), at ten or eleven in the forenoon, the sun-beams fall in the inside of the northern part of the choir ; and t is then that the spectators, who stand on the west side of Whitby churchyard, so as just to sec the most northerly part of the abbey past the north end of Whitby church, imagine they perceive, in one of the highest windows there, the resemblance of a woman arrayed in a shroud. Though we are certain this is only .1 reflection, caused by the splrudour of the suu-bcains, yet fame reports it, and it is constantly believed among the vulgar, to be an appearance of Lady Hilda in her shroud, or rather in a glorified state; before which 1 make no doubt, the papists, even in these our days, offer up their prayers with at much zeal and devotion, as before any other
image of their most glorified saint.»—Cu.tlt.To>, History offFhitby, p. 33.
Note 9. Stanza xi.
A bisho,) by ibe altar Mood.
The well-known Gawain Douglas, Rishop of Duuk^ld. son of Archibald Bell-the-Cal, Earl of Angus. He m author of a Scottish metrical version of the .Km il. and of many other poetical pieces of great merit. He had not at this period attained the mitre.
Note 10. Stanza xi.
Ibe huge and (weeping bread
which wool, of yore, in betlla-fray.
Angus had strength and personal activity correspooding to his courage. Spens of Kilspindie, a favourite of James IV., having spoken of him lightly, the Carl met him while hawking, and, compelling him to sataazlc combat, at ouc 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 oMigrtl to yield his castle of Hermitage, in exchange for lint of Bothwell, which was some diminution to the family greatness. The sword with which he struck ao remarkable a blow was presented by his desceniLuit. James, Earl of Morton, afterwards Regent of Scotland, to Lord Lindcsay of the Byres, when he defied Bollmell to single combat on Carberry-hill.—See In troduction to the Mimtrtlsy of the ScoUisli Border. p. ix.
Note 11. Stanza xiv.
And hopes! ihoa hence unscathed 10 joT—
This ebullition of violence in lite potent Earl of Angus is 110& without its example in the real lituorr of the house of Douglas, whose chieftains possessed the ferocity, with the heroic virtues, of a savage stale-. The most curious instance occurred in the cose of Haclellan, tutor of Boinby, who, having refused to acknowledge the pre-eminence claimed by Duugias over the gentlemen ami barons of Calloway, was seised an.! imprisoned by the carl in his ca>llc of the Tbricve. on the borders of Kirkcudbright-shire. Sir Patrick Cm. coinmauder of King James the Second's guard, was uncle to the tutor of Boinby, and obtained from ttw king a •■ sweet letter of supplication,, praying the earl to deliver his prisoner into Cray's hand. When Sr 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 dinuer, the cart, who suspected his errand, caused his prisoner to be h-d forth and beheaded. After dinner, Sir Patrick presented the king's letter to the carl, who received it with gn-.u affectation of reverence; « and took him by the hand, and led him forth to the green, wliere the gentleman was lying dead, and showed him the mannei, and laed. Sir Patrick, you arc come a little too late; yonder 11 1 your sister's Sod lying, but he wants the bead: take' his body and do with, it what you will. Sir Patrick answered again with a sore heart, and said. My lord, if ye have taken from him his head, dispone upon the body as ye please: and with that called for his liorv. nd leaped thereon, and when he was on horseback.
kuld lo the earl on this manner, Sly lord, if I live, ■lull be rewarded for your labours, that you have ■p) [fail limp, according lo your demerits.
It dm saving the Earl was highly offended, and
(■Iforborse. Sir Patrick, seeing tile Earl's fury,
•amd hn borse, but he was chased near Edinburgh
tt Art left him; and had it not been his led horse
» tried and good, he had been taken.»—PtTSCor
n'tiiltery, p. 3o.
Sole 12. Stanza Xt.
A Irtle r forged'. St J ode to .peed I
In lie rodcr should partake of the carl's astonishes. Ioj consider the crime as inconsistent wilh the ■am of the period, 1 have lo remind him of the manm forccries (partly executed by a female as«m; driiseJ by Robert of Artois, to forward his tpM the Countess Matilda ; which, being deltctttraMoeJliis flight into England, and proved the ran* of Edward the Thirds memorable wars ■ Finn. John Harding, also, was expressly hired l»U»>nl FV, to forge such documents as might ap(■taestablish the claim of fealty asserted over ScolWljlbe English monarclis.
Sole 13. Stanza xsiii.
IVre Leanrl'* eon? eot closed their march.
TfcTisaCisterlian house of religion, now almost ■cirfr demolished. Lennel House is now the residence dm'ramble friend Patrick Brydone, Esquire, so iri l».n io the literary world, it is situated near totaram, almost opposite to Comhill, and consetery Dear to Flodden Field.
Note 14. Stanza xtx.
Tktlill by TwiuU Bridee
<i liie evening previous to the memorable battle of
Mlra, Surrey's head-iiuarlers were at Barmoor-wood,
!«d li»j James held an inaccessible position on the
i i*»tffloddrn-hill, one of t he last and lowest eminences
I fciAeifrom ll« ridge of Cheviot. The Till, a deep
'nd d«» river, winded between the armies. On the
1 Brans «f 'he 9th September, 1513, Surrey marched
«■ 1 Mb-»esirrly direction, and crossed the Till, with
I '»na jodanilleVy, at Twisel bridge, uigli where that
|iwj«n< ttir Tweed, his rear-guard column passing
'Seat i mile higher, by a ford. This movement had
'b fcaHe effect of placing his army between King
>'** and lib supplies from Scotland, and of striking
*■ Samisli monarch with surprise, as he seems to
', b'l relied on the depth of the river in his front. But
«ii* passage, both over the bridge and through the
kd,w, difficult and slow, it seems possible that the
^StbmijUthave been attacked to great advantage
•* struggling with these natural obstacles. I know
w d»e zre to impute James's forbearance to want of
•farj .kill, or to the romantic declaration which
fcxotlie puis in his mouth, « that he was determined
"but his enemies before him on a plain field,» and
*"*« would suffer no interruption to be given,
"^ by artillery, to their passing the river.
1* ancient bridge of Twiscl, by which the English
"•led the Till, is still standing beneath Twiscl Castle,
'Aadid pile of Gothic architecture, as now rebuilt by
* Francis Blake, Bart, whose extensive plantations
have so much improved the country around. The glen is romantic and delightful, with sleep banks on each side, covered with copse, particularly with hawthorn. Beneath a tall rock, near the bridge, is a plentiful fountain, called St Helen's Well.
Note 15. Stanza xxi'ii.
Heore miHhl they see the fall array
The reader cannot here expect a full account of the battle of Flodden; hut, so far as is necessary 10 under stand the romance, I beg to remind him, that when the English army, by their skilful couuter-march, were fairly placed between King James and his own country, the Scottish monarch resolved 10 light; and, setting lire 10 bis tents, descended from the ridge of Flodden 10 secure the neighbouring eminence of Branksome, on which that village is built. Thus the two armies met, almost without seeing each other, when, according 10 the old poem of « Flodden Field,»
The Kn;;li»h line .Irclcb'd eatt and wo»N
And .oothward were their face* sol;
And manfully Iheir foe. they mei.
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 Sir Edmund, his brother'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 D.icre, 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.' The Earls of Huntley and of Home commanded their left wing, and charged Sir Edmund Howard with such success, as entirely 10 defeat his part of the English right wing. Sir Edmund Howards banner was beaten down, and he himself escaped with difficulty to his brother's division. The admiral, however, stood firm; and Dacrc, 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. Home'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. Ou the other hand, Huntley, on whom they bestow many encomiums, is said, by the English historians, 10 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 decisive; for the Scottish right wing, consisting