« 前へ次へ »
Now standeth the heved above the tu-brigge,
To play on the green, &e.
The preceding stanzas contain probably as minute an account as can be found of the trial and execution of state criminals of the period. Superstition mingled its horrors with those of a ferocious state policy, as appears from the following singular narrative.
“ The Friday next, before the assumption of Our Lady, King Edward met Robert the Bruce at Saint Johnstoune, in Scotland, and with his company, of which company King Edward quelde seven thousand When Robert the Bruce saw this mischief, and gan to flee, and hov'd him that men might not him find; but S. Simond Frisell pursued was so sore, so that he turned again and abode bataille, for he was a worthy knight and a bolde of bodye, and the Englishmen pursuede him sore on every side, and quelde the steed that Sir Simon Frisell rode upon, and then toke him and led him to the host. And S. Symond began for to flatter and speke fair, and saide, Lordys, I shall give you four thousand markes of silver, and myne horse and harness, and all my armoure and income. Tho' answered Thobaude of Pevenes, that was the kinges archer, Now, God me so helpe, it is for nought that thou
speakest, for all the gold of England I would not let thee go without commandment of King Edward. And tho' he was led to the king, and the king would not see him, but commanded to lead him away to his doom in London, on Our Lady's even nativity. And he was hung and drawn, and his head smitten off, and hanged again with chains of iron upon the gallows, and his head was set at London-bridge upon a spear, and against Christinas the body was burnt, for encheson (reason) that the men that keeped the body saw many devils ramping with iron crooks, running upon the gallows, and hor ribly tormenting the body. And many that them saw, anon thereafter died for dread, or waxen mad, or spre sickness they had.”-M. Chronicle in the British Museum, quoted by Ritson.
Was not the life of Athole shed, To sooth the tyrant's sicken'd bed ?--St. XXVI. p. 71. John de Strathbogie, Earl of Athole, had attempted to escape out of the kingdom, but a storm cast him upon the coast, when he was taken, sent to London, and executed, with circumstances of great barbarity, being first half strangled, then let down from the gallows while yet alive, barbarously dismembered, and his body burnt. It may surprise the reader to learn, that this was a mitigated punishment; for, in respect that his mother was a grand-daughter of King John, by his natural son Richard, he was not drawn on a sledge to execution,
“ that point was forgiven," and he made the passage on horseback. Matthew of Westminster tells us that King Edward, then extremely ill, received great ease from the news that his relative was apprehended.Quo audito, Rex Anglia, etsi gravissimo morbo tunc langueret, ledius tamen tulit dolorem." To this singular expression the text alludes.
Note XV. And must his word, at dying day, Be nought but quarter, hang, and slay !-St. XXVI. p. 71.
This alludes to a passage in Barbour, singularly expressive of the vindictive spirit of Edward I. The prisoners taken at the castle of Kildrummie had surrendered upon condition that they should be at King Edward's disposal. " But his will,” says Barbour, was always evil towards Scottishmen.” The news of the surrender of Kildrummie arrived wben he was in his mortal sickness at Burgh-upon-Sands.
66 And when he to the death was ncar,
Forouten moaning and mercy.
There was much truth in the Leonine couplet, with which Matthew of Westminster concludes his encomium on the first Edward :
“ Scotos, Edwardus, dum vixit, suppeditavit,
Note XVI. By Woden wild (my grandsire's oath.)St. XXVII. p.71. The Mac-Leods, and most other distinguished Hebridean families, were of Scandinavian extraction, and some were late or imperfect converts to Christianity. The family names of Torquil, Thormod, &c. are all Norwegian,
In Palestine, with sword and lance.--St. XXIX. p. 75. Bruce uniformly professed, and probably felt, compunction for having. violated the sanctuary of the church by the slaughter of Comyn; and finally, in his last hours, in testimony of his faith, penitence, and zeal, he requested James Lord Douglas
carry his heart to Jerusalem, to be there deposited in the Holy Sepulchre.
To speak my curse upon thy head.-St. XXXI. p. 76. So soon as the notice of Comyn’s slaughter reached Rome, Bruce and his adherents were excommunicated. It was pub. lished first by the Archbishop of York, and renewed at different times, particularly by Lambyrton, Bishop of St Andrew's, in 1308 ; but it does not appear to have answered the purpose which the English monarch expected. Indeed, for reasons which it may be difficult to trace, the thunders of Rome descended upon the Scottish mountains with less effect than in more fertile countries. Probably the comparative poverty of the benefices occasioned that fewer foreign clergy settled in Scotland; and the interest of the native church-men were linked with that of their country. Many of the Scottish prelates, Lambyrton the primate particularly, declared for Bruce, while he was yet under the ban of the church, although he afterwards again changed sides.
I feel within my aged breast A power that will not be repress'do-XXXI. p. 76. Bruce, like other heroes, observed omens, and one is recorded by tradition.” After he had retreated to one of the